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Arm-strengthening device in development for children with cerebral palsy

A research team have been awarded a grant worth over £800,000 to develop a device to help children with cerebral palsy gain strength and the use of their arms.

GripAble, is a digital training platform supporting individuals undergoing rehabilitation for both neurological and musculoskeletal conditionsis. They, alongside Imperial College London, have been awarded a grant from the Biomedical Catalyst to develop an interactive device which will revolutionise upper-limb therapy for children with cerebral palsy.

Together they will launch SqueezAble, an arm-strengthening device which combines novel soft-sensing technology and interactive gaming in the hope to revolutionise upper-limb therapy for paediatric cerebral palsy patients.

As regular occupational therapy is key to preventing a child’s condition from deteriorating, they plan to develop this technology by working with children who have cerebral palsy.  As well as developing the new SqueezAble technology, over the next two years they plan to create new two-handed games for training functional movement on their software platform to make rehabilitation fun, especially for children.

Together with an award-winning team of OTs, clinical specialists, and medical device engineers, the project is aiming to advance the current prototypes toward clinical translation to assist the estimated 187,000 children living with an arm disability in the UK.

Lesley Herbertson, Partner in our clinical negligence team at Potter Rees Dolan, said:

Those of us that are able-bodied take for granted the benefit of being able to use two hands together to be able to hold, lift, carry, open, and so on. However, such ability is not a given for those with disabilities. So it is good to read that advances in technology are continuing to provide ways of training those that need support with regards to bilateral hand control and strength, here combining comfortably hand-held devices with a gaming experience.

Lesley Herbertson is a Partner within Potter Rees Dolan's Clinical Negligence department. If you have any questions relating to this story or clinical negligence generally and wish to speak with Lesley, please call our free phone on 0800 027 2557. Alternatively, you can contact Lesley directly through her profile page on our website.

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