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Innovations - Get A Grip

Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News May 2018

The NeoMano from Neofect is an assistive device for patients with primarily higher-level cervical spinal-cord injuries (SCI) who need to increase their grip in order to participate in activities of daily life.

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Opening doors, gripping a glass and other everyday tasks could soon be much easier for high-functioning quadriplegics and others with limited hand dexterity, thanks to a new prototype glove that debuted at January’s annual Consumer Electronics Show technology trade show in Las Vegas. The NeoMano from Neofect is an assistive device for patients with primarily higher-level cervical spinal-cord injuries (SCI) who need to increase their grip in order to participate in activities of daily life.

The Three-Jaw Chuck

Mainly targeted to those with a SCI between C5 and C7, the glove fits over the user’s index finger, middle finger and thumb to form what is technically called the “three-jaw chuck” or power grip. A small battery-operated motor attached near the thumb is controlled with a remote by the user’s other hand to grip and/or release an object. Neofect Clinical Manager and occupational therapist Lauren Sheehan, OTD, OTR/L, has been helping test the prototype and says the control doesn’t take much pressure from the user to operate. She says the user’s palm, elbow or side of the hand can be used to activate the functions. Sheehan says the NeoMano gives the user plenty of gripping function, and the prototype is still evolving.

“It can close enough to pick up a relatively small object. It’ll really 
  just depend on the flexibility of the user’s
 hand,” she says. “Some of our testing in this next phase is really to decide what the qualifications of a user’s abilities and flexibility of that soft tissue, the bone structure and the positioning of the hand needs to be.”

Neofect is planning to do a Kickstarter campaign with the device and hopes to have it out on the market by the end of this year or in early 2019. Meanwhile, the NeoMano continues to undergo evaluation.

“The testing piece is really going to be important to try and hone in on and fine-tune those user characteristics so that we can best direct it to the most appropriate user, so that when they get it and deploy it, it really works for their function and their routines,” Sheehan says.

For more information, visit neomano.neofect.com.

 

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Innovations - Get A Grip

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