Dr Barend ter Haar
Healthcare Innovations Australia
Barend ter Haar has a doctorate in neuroendocrinology. He was the founding editor of Trends in NeuroSciences, and subsequently was a commissioning editor for medical journals and books. In recent years he has been MD of companies in the UK and Australia specialising in the provision of Assistive Technology. He works on BSI and ISO Assistive Technology standards committees, and publishes and lectures around the world on Assistive Technology. In 2016 he was awarded the BHTA Lifetime Achievements Award.
Healthcare Innovations Australia was established 10 years ago in part to work with Dr Peter Abolfathi on taking the results of his PhD research, to make them more instinctive and user-friendly for hand therapists.
A Portable, Powered, Instrumented Exoskeleton for Hand Assessment and Therapy
Of the variety of clinical examinations and assessment procedures employed in current practice, evaluation of the range of motion (ROM) is considered the most informative and useful. Active ROM (AROM) and passive ROM (PROM) measurements are typically taken by therapists using goniometers. It is generally understood that improvements in these ranges are indicative of general and functional recoveries of the hand.
A device (the ExoFlex) has been created with assessment features designed to map ROM in each joint of an affected hand. This automated measurement system creates trend data that can be further analysed over weeks and months and is complimentary to currently used physiological and functional assessment methods employed by therapists.
Exoflex has been shown to record quantitatively the trajectory of health of a patient''s hand during the course of recovery. This technology has created new opportunities for a more standardised measurement of hand conditions to improve hand therapy.
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