A group of scientists at the University of Malaga, in Spain, have developed a smart mechanized cane that can monitor a patient's rehabilitation process without any impact on the patient. Using two pressure sensors in the cane's tip, it measures how much weight is being placed onto it and in what direction. It also records every step that a patient takes. The cane contains a wireless charger that can connect via Bluetooth to a smartphone, allowing the collected data to be monitored and analyzed. Results of the cane's effectiveness were recently published in the journal Sensors.
"We seek a minimal interaction with patients, to avoid any cognitive load and prevent any impact on their daily routine", says Cristina Urdiales, Head of the Department of Electronic Technology at University of Malaga.
From the University of Malaga article: "This is a low cost device, adapted to users and accessible to anyone, since the researchers have uploaded its designs, algorithms and electronic diagrams of its pieces to the Internet under an open license.
This cane monitors users' weight-bearing while walking, providing individualized information on their progress, by means of two embedded pressure sensors placed at two different depths in the tip of a regular cane so that they don't affect cane ergonomics. Likewise, so as to simplify its use, it includes a wireless charger, and data can be collected by a mobile phone via Bluetooth.
Likewise, enhancing the direct transfer with the company is another of the objectives of this project, licensed in open and published by the scientific journal Sensors . 'We have managed to build this cane does not cost more than 100 euros,' says Joaquin Ballesteros, designer of the same, which adds that, so far, it has already been downloaded by more than 150 researchers, mainly in the United States and France."
Read more about the rehabilitation monitoring smart cane at University of Malaga.