The RAPAEL Smart Glove is a virtual reality glove that is transforming recovery times and expectations of those who have suffered stroke or serious injury which has been shortlisted for a Blackwood Design Award.

NEOFECT’s Smart Glove is revolutionising patient rehabilitation because of its interactive gaming element, which encourages and motivates its users to keep repeating measured movements.

With its range of games that, using algorithms, adapt to the progression of its users, the RAPAEL Smart Glove brings feeling and movement back to inactive parts of the hand, wrist and forearm. The glove increases the difficulty of the movements and games with the patient’s progression as well as tracks and records their development.

The design represents how today’s technology can be adapted for patient care and is one of the shortlisted entries in the Blackwood Design Awards, which aim to celebrate the great and good of innovations to help people who have disabilities.

Anna Choi, Marketing Communication Manager at NEOFECT, said: “The rehabilitation process for people trying to get movement back in their body can be a slow and exhausting process.

“Quite simply, it’s not a fun task. Older techniques would see patients move a cup from one part of the table to another repeatedly to get muscles to recognise and develop the movement – you can imagine how boring that is.

“But the RAPAEL Smart Glove is fun – and by motivating the patient to progress with each game, the patient progresses in recovery.”

One of the most important benefits of the RAPAEL Smart Glove is that it gives its user independence as the glove can be used at home and a therapist can give regular checks by tele-communication, so patients do not need full-time supervision during rehab exercises.

Anna added: “We develop solutions for patients who need rehab but are unmotivated, so we know that it can be a tough job convincing them that things can improve.

“Keeping patients motivated through gamification and a user-friendly interface is an essential part of their development.”

The glove was first co-invented by the CEO of NEOFECT, Hoyoung Ban, who recognised the need to advance the rehabilitation process after experiencing first-hand the obstacles both patients and families face after losing his father to a stroke, and later seeing two uncles fall victims to the same thing.

Anna added: “We’re all so proud and honoured to be recognised by such a prestigious award and are extremely excited at the prospect of the word spreading, which could see more people benefit from the glove.”

The Smart Glove has been shortlisted in the Best New Aids and Equipment category, with the winner announced on 30th May.

Max Brown, Chair of Blackwood Board, said: “The standard of entries this year has been incredibly high across the board.

“This glove’s design has incredible results with its patient recovery rates and has the potential to breathe a breath of fresh air into the way we think about the rehabilitation process.”

“We’re all excited to see which entries comes out on top when the Awards are announced and wish the best of luck to all those shortlisted.”

Blackwood is an Edinburgh-based charity which has more than 1,500 homes throughout the country to help those who are disabled, elderly or with sensory impairments to live more independently.

To find out more about the RAPAEL Smart Glove the website is HERE 

To find out more the Blackwood Design Awards 2018 the website is HERE

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