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STTR Phase I: A Body Area Sensor Network with Smart Glove Base Station for Improved Physical Therapy

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1912945
Agency Tracking Number: 1912945
Amount: $224,969.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: I
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-07-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-06-30
Small Business Information
634 Kittendale Circle
Baltimore, MD 21220
United States
DUNS: 079085576
HUBZone Owned: Yes
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Lloyd Emokpae
 (410) 409-1965
Business Contact
 Lloyd Emokpae
Phone: (410) 409-1965
Research Institution
 University of Maryland Baltimore County
 Mohamed Younis
ESC 329 1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

The broader impact of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project will provide a low-cost wearable Internet-of-Things (IoT) device for upper extremity physical therapy rehabilitation. The project will contribute to the ultimate goal of helping patients suffering from stroke or joint-related injuries of the upper extremities. The project will result in a body of knowledge that physicians can leverage. For example, Fugl-Meyer assessment (FMA) scores can be computed from the acquired sensorimotor information to assess the physical performance of a patient. Our innovative body area sensor network with smart glove base station (BASN-SG) design can be used to track and speed up the patient recovery process by promoting neuroplasticity through biofeedback. Thus, providing both the physician and patient a quantitative tool for upper extremity rehabilitation. Outreach opportunities will be pursued through local middle schools to use this BASN-SG technology to generate student interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) topics. The project also has a huge commercial impact and has a potential to lower the health care and labor cost associated with neurological rehabilitation of stroke patients by over 30%. The proposed project aims to develop and commercialize a novel BASN-SG design that leverages an award winning and patent pending IoT smart glove device to measure the sensorimotor information of the human hand, which is not possible through alternative means, e.g., smart phone. Furthermore, the smart glove will be exploited for secure centralized processing of the sensitive biokinetic and physiological information that will be wirelessly transmitted from the BASN. Conducting sensor data fusion and processing closer to the body will address issues associated with signal propagation and multipath, packet loss due to signal interference and noise, cyber threats due to network attacks to foster physician-patient confidentiality, and energy consumption of wireless sensor nodes. Our research objectives includes: (1) developing a wearable exercise shirt with built-in modular wireless sensor nodes for acquiring the bio-states of the user to be transmitted to the smart glove base station, (2) algorithms on the smart glove to enable conducting sensor data fusion and processing closer to the human body, and (3) a virtual reality software tool that uses the aggregated and fused data set from the smart glove base station as an input controller for user biofeedback. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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