The biggest hit II

I developed a second radio prototype as part of my PhD research to investigate how everyday objects can be designed for chronic stroke survivors to contribute to the rehabilitation process. The radio is based on a rectangular form and can be visually separated into a main blue front area and a wooden back area. At the back, a metal stand can be attached to gradually increase the angle of the radio and the required wrist extension to constantly challenge the user. The user has to perform a reach and grasp movement, touching the front lower area that shows a hand icon to start the radio. The white circle in the centre of the front area contains two buttons. The large one allows the user to change the volume and the small one regulates the radio channel. This button can be changed by attaching different covers which offer more / less support. A soft potentiometer is situated on the right side of the radio, which controls the training interval of the radio. The radio was evaluated by chronic stroke survivors indicating that the form of the object needs to take account of the conceptual model that the user has e.g. the rehabilitative […]
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The biggest hit

Stroke causes significant damage to the brain and often results in severe weakness on one side of the body. Survivors are likely to compensate for the loss of function through an increased use of the less affected arm and the nonuse of the affected arm. In some cases, this can be overcome through constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) by restraining the less affected arm to require the use of the affected arm when performing tasks. This research project investigates how a tangible interface in the form of an interactive radio could facilitate the restraining effect of CIMT. I used a research through design methodology that led to the design of an interactive radio that restrains the movement to one specific side of the body. The usability of the design was assessed by stroke therapists. Feedback indicated that the radio has potential in restraining the movement while encouraging a repetitive movement of the affected arm, but does not deliver CIMT.
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