SS01 Humanitarian Technology
Welcome to the very first IEEE Humanitarian Technology Activity Special Track. This track focuses on bringing together people to address critical issues for the benefit of the resource-constrained and vulnerable population around us. In this track we seek to highlight individuals/groups who has been working tirelessly to improve the quality of life of the population in their vicinity through the use of humanitarian technology. I envision this track to serve as an opportunity for IEEE volunteers to understand and experience first-hand the need and opportunity for impacting the society around us. We eagerly encourage participants from academia, for-profit and non-profit businesses, governmental and non-governmental organizations to attend and present research, ideas, and other considerations for the creation of effective humanitarian technology. We also invite participants to share case studies and lessons learned from deployment and application of humanitarian technologies. Reasons to Attend!
Prof. Shaikh Fattah, IEEE Bangladesh Section Chair
Mr. Ranjit R. Nair, IEEE Kerala Section
5th December 2016
Assoc. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Low Cheng Yee
Faculty of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering,
Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia
Clinically Compliant Simulator of Upper Limb Spasticity
Upper limb spasticity is commonly seen in conditions of upper motor neuron pathology, of which includes traumatic brain injury, stroke, high cervical spinal cord injury and Cerebral Palsy. Trained physicians, physiotherapists and occupational therapists are needed for the rehabilitation of such patients. To obtain skills in addressing spasticity, current practice in training of students utilizes patients as primary learning subjects. Novices without the required skills put the patient safety at stake. Further, physicians and therapists evaluate spasticity using the Tardieu, Ashworth, and Modified Ashworth Scale which can vary dependent on experience. Variability in rater scores suggest that training can be improved. To tackle this issue, a high-fidelity upper limb part-task trainer that is capable of consistently emulating the uni-directional and velocity-dependent spasticity symptoms is proposed for the training of therapists and medical students before engagement with real patients. Thus, a robotic arm that is able to emulate upper limb spasticity symptoms has been investigated and developed. Clinical data of upper limb spasticity is essential for the emulation of spasticity symptoms in an upper limb part-task trainer. In order to obtain such data, clinical assessment has been conducted to measure the angle of elbow joint of a spastic arm and the force applied by the therapist on the patient’s forearm. Both the Tardieu Scale and the Modified Ashworth Scale has been applied for the evaluation of spasticity. Besides contributing to understanding the kinesiology (study of muscle movement) and arthrokinematics (how the joints move) of a spastic upper limb, this work contributes towards tackling the issue of the variability in rater scores for upper limb spasticity. These outcomes lead to improving the quality of therapist training and thus the quality of care the patients receive during rehabilitation sessions.