Earlier this week we reported on how researchers at UCLA in the United States are using a robot from a car factory to study the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). But that´s not the only way robot technology can be harnessed to improve the treatment of sports injuries: in Spain, researchers at the Technical University of Madrid (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, or UPM) have been working on a high-tech system to improve the recovery of patients with shoulder injuries.
Based at the university´s Centre for Automation and Robotics (CAR), scientists have developed a robotic exoskeleton that is designed to perform patient rehabilitation therapies more efficiently. The researchers say that the robotic exoskeleton can replicate the movements performed by a therapist during treatment.
The intelligent system uses strength and motion sensors to assess the extent of an injury and track the patient´s progress as the treatment advances.
According to a technology portfolio published by UPM, rehabilitation therapies performed by intelligent robotic systems can cut a patient´s recovery time by up to 40%.
“This solution, besides attending rehabilitation, is an assessment tool on the evolution of the lesion and can be easily tuned for each patient without excessive training of the physiotherapist,” the university said.
A lab prototype of the robotic exoskeleton has been created but the device does not yet appear to have been tested in a clinical trial, FierceMedicalDevices pointed out.
UPM is seeking to take the technology to market through its commercialisation arm, UPM Innovatech, the news site reported.