Rapael Smart Glove Brings Gaming to Physiotherapy

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The Rapael smart glove, created by the South Korean company Neofect, uses a range of sensors to aid in the rehabilitation of wrist and hand injury patients.

Featured at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, the Rapael has nine-axis motion sensors, malleable sensors and 32-bit micromandals.

It looks like a gaming power glove and it playing games is an important part of the glove’s function.

The patient wears the wireless glove on the injured hand and wrist. It then connects with the Rapael app, which guides the user through a repetitive motions routine to make specific tendons and muscles work.

One game shown at CES involves having the user cut vegetables using repetitive radial movements of the wrist. Another game has the patient “throw darts” which involves flexing of the fingers.

Neofect developed the app’s activities from real physiotherapy games and exercises. The same emphasis is given to finding exercises that work and are also fun, such as one game that involves serving a glass of wine.

Data from the numerous sensors of the glove are fed through a software algorithm that customizes the type of game depending on the needs of the patient. A company spokesman compared this customization to how the Netflix algorithm personalizes each user’s movie and TV recommendations.

The Rapael has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and is available in two versions: one for clinical use and one for the home. The home version is available for rent for $ 99 per month.

Naming the unit Rapael was inspired by “Raphael” which means “Healthy God” and the company is also planning a similar device for knee and shoulder therapies.