Assistive Rehabilitation Game for Stroke Patients

    Human Centered Assistive Rehabilitation Devices (or HCARD) was an elective run by Etienne Burdette at the Bio Engineering Department at Imperial College London. The module described various symptoms and methods of rehabilitating health conditions such as stroke,

    Stroke is the greatest single cause of severe disability and is the third most common cause of death in the United Kingdom (BBC, 2012 & Bupa, 2011). From these, 95% of stroke survivors have difficulty in controlling one or both of their arms (TheDenverChannel.com, 2010).
    75% of patients who’ve suffered a stroke are presented with a cerebral infarction or tissue death in the brain due to a lack of blood supply to a part of the brain whereas 15% of stroke patients are presented with cerebral haemorrhage (Boon, Walker et al., 2006).

    Cerebral infarction takes place after several hours of loss of blood supply. As the blood flow reduces, the various parts of the brain lacking blood supply loses its function at various thresholds. These thresholds are indicators of the amount of oxygen needed to maintain electrical activity (Boon, Walker et al., 2006).

    Cerebral haemorrhage is the bleeding in the brain due to a rupture in the blood vessels. This usually happens in the brain parenchyma where the sudden rush of blood disrupts neuronal functions and cause white matter inter-connections to split apart. The constant bleeding can spread within a few hours and further extend the affected region (Boon, Walker et al., 2006).
    The areas of the brain which experience tissue death as a result of lack of oxygen can lead to brain damage and disabilities such as a reduction or loss in motor control.
Our rehabilitation device is aimed towards stroke patients who have difficulty in motor action in the shoulder, wrist, and fingers, but is also applicable to any other patients that require training in arm motor control.
The device encourages the movement of the arm, wrist and fingers. The device is targeted for the patient to slowly begin to regain motor control in the affected limb with the reinforcement of increasingly difficult levels of operation. This is achieved through the game interface which provides a level of replay ability, immersion, and feedback for the user.
The game interface is designed to be engaging and entertaining for the patient to be encouraged to play regularly to regain motor control. Feedback in the form of a ‘score’, as well as various difficulty levels, lets the user see how they progress relative to their initial starting level. The device overall is designed to be simple to use, reliable, robust, and adjustable to suit various patients.

Imperial College London
Bio Engineering + Mechanical Engineering

Collaborators   Karen Chong + Joshua Tay + Zainab Abbas + Christopher Westgate

Duration   2 semesters

Date   Oct.-Dec. 2011


  Yuki is an Innovation Designer and Technologist working on creating products and experiences that create positive futures. He is a Design Researcher at the EPFL+ECAL Lab, where he is working on Digital Innovation to bring emerging technologies from the research labs at EPFL to people who need it. Yuki is a graduate from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London, holding an MA and MSc in Innovation Design and Engineering and an MEng in Mechanical Engineering. He is currently pursing a Masters of Advanced Studies at EPFL and ECAL in Design Research in Digital Innovation. He is passionate about using Design Thinking and Human Centred Design to create positive impact. Since his childhood he was inspired by technology and design. He is also interested in start-ups and getting new ideas to market. He is a Design London Fellow, which allowed him to attend Executive MBA lectures at Imperial Business School and to work on projects along side MBA students. With the Lines team he was fortunate to attend the European Innovation Academy and the Intel Make it Wearable Challenge to learn about patents, marketing, business and design.