The Exoflex is a portable device worn on the hand that works to bring movement to paralysed and recovering hands. This device can manipulate and mobilize hand joints in a controlled and safe manner for exercise, rehabilitation and eventually function. Exoflex can also be used for assessment of hand health.
The Exoflex is uniquely portable and worn over the arm and fingers.
The usage model of the device is modular so only fingers requiring therapy are allocated Exoflex Drive Units. However, even with the full hand loaded, the unit is light enough on the hand to allow patients to walk around unhindered for up to two hours of therapeutic activity.
One of the key breakthroughs with the Exoflex is its ability to passively move each joint of each finger and thumb independently in a controlled manner.
In effect, the device is acting as 14 individual modules able to prescribe movement to joints requiring therapy. This is a significantly important improvement over other hand therapy tools that typically move the whole hand globally.
In prior art machines; any finger joints with significant stiffness end up carrying the load for the other joints. In the Exoflex, a stiff hand joint is moved only until the prescribed force limit on it is reached. Furthermore, these movements are all synchronized and coordinated to ensure fingers are not mobilized out of turn.
The Exoflex is a device that aims to use outcome-based intervention for therapy.
The first time the unit is used on a new patient, a database entry is created for the client on the device itself. Once registered, in follow-up usage the device remembers the patient and records important measurements related to their fingers and their usage patterns.
The patient compliance and usage data is graphed together with the range of movement of each finger tracked. Crucially, the therapist can use this information to link the activity types and amount of usage to the recovery of the hand in an objective manner.
Given the architecture of the Exoflex technology, therapy routines can be custom made for each patient depending on their needs. This may include passive movement (device moves fingers) or active movement (patient moves fingers and device resists or assists).
In addition, individual joints in the hand can be dynamically locked and immobilized (splinted) while other joints are allowed to move. This is a unique and revolutionary feature in the Exoflex that has not been available in any portable device in prior art.
The Exoflex Control Unit (ECU) is a WiFi enabled master controller with a touch screen. The ECU is worn on the arm allowing the user to initiate and stop therapy and access their settings.
Through WiFi, the ECU hosts a web service that can be connected to by smart devices either directly or on the local network. The latter makes it Internet enabled; allowing it to receive software updates as well present Telemedicine opportunities.
Using this innovative architecture the device presents an additional screen remotely to connected smart devices. Therapists use this to access a sophisticated user interface featuring patient database, customized therapy builder and assessment records including trend data and graphs.
A key feature of the Exoflex is its ability to snap onto fingers using a unique magnetic coupling system.
The patient adheres special strips (called nodes) around their finger segments. These node feature a platform with a captured ferromagnetic metal pill that couple with magnetic links on the Exoflex actuators. This allows the device to be quickly donned and doffed while providing an inherently safe mechanism during use.
In the unlikely case of the failure of the electronic force sensing systems causing the device to exert overt forces on the fingers, the couplings will pop off before being able to cause physically damage to the fingers.