1. Injury Management Devices
The crux of the problem in the management of an unstable pelvis caused by trauma is hemodynamic control of internal exsanguinations. Temporary pelvic stabilization should occurimmediately during initial evaluation and resuscitation in cases of suspected pelvicfracture bleeding. This can be achieved by the utilization of a pelvic binder. Commercially available pelvic binders are usually imported and relatively expensive. It is from this notion that healthcare practitioners from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia composed of orthopedic surgeons, Emergency Medicine specialists and a senior paramedic-equivalent Assistant Medical Officer attempted to develop a commercially viable, low cost and reliable external pelvic stabilization device using locally available intermediate technologies for use in Malaysia named BRIM Pelvic Binder. It is able to provide effective pressure and compression to the pelvic ring to minimize bleeding and maintain the integrity of the pelvic structure. Besides that, it is able to provide a portable and user friendly pelvic binding for use on injured patients regardless of size. This binder is able to minimize bleeding from the pelvic bone and the vessels around the pelvis by methods of compression on the pelvic ring that form a tamponade effect around the pelvic ring. More importantly, it is radiolucent, easy to use, light, washable and cheap. The purpose of this project is to implement functional assessment and performance profiling by conducting rigorous laboratory testing as well as pre-clinical testing in order to allow adjustments of the design for optimization.
2. Rehabilitation Devices
In Malaysia, stroke was consistently the 3rd commonest cause of death and severe disability. Every year there are 40,000 people in Malaysia suffer from stroke and an average of 110 people died every day due to stroke. It is acknowledged that approximately one third of the stroke survivors will have long-term disabilities, namely limb paresis, inability to perform daily activities or impairments in swallowing or speech. Although the impairments and disabilities after a stroke could be severe, inadvertly the stroke victim’s attitude has a substantial influence on recovery. The care of stroke patients requires a multidisciplinary approach with interprofessional collaboration.
Currently, the acute stroke patients are managed in hospital, specifically a stroke unit with a dedicated team of neurologists, geriatricians, general physicians with an interest in stroke, trained nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists. The dedicated stroke unit has been proven to improve survival and decreased morbidities overtime, with most survivors also demonstrated an increase in functional performance over longer period of time. Stroke management now evolved beyond hospital walls, in which early rehabilitation that continued over acute phases of recovery (six months and beyond) also proven to improve functional performance and activities in daily living. Further rehabilitation that goes beyond one year or more has dispelled the earlier understandings that recovery plateued at six months after stroke, with evidence in neuro-imaging and objective assessments proven that recovery were still present if rehabilitation input were given in persistent and consistent manner. Rehabilitation has traditionally based on repetitive actions that are tasks specific and individualized, aiming to retrain the brain in learning the previously learned skills. Rehabilitation also aims to improve overall muscle function, balance, functional performance and overall health related quality of life.
Stroke rehabilitation in 21st century now moving beyond exercises and simple everyday tools, with theories of neuroplasticity in stroke recovery potentiates the intervention using virtual reality and robotic assisted devices. Robotic assisted devices now has gained interests in stroke rehabilitation, as preliminary evidence demonstrates effectiveness in retraining limb functions even in chronic stage of recovery. Besides that, robot-assisted movement training showed that the movement ability of the arm has been improved in chronic stroke. These devices are bulky and still in the research and development stage. Therefore, there is a need to develop a more personalized and wearable systems that can bring comfort and more accurate measurements to stroke patients.