Design and Validation of a Smart Brace; Wearable Technology for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Piper, Bryan
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University of Guelph

This research sought to design and validate a wrist brace able to track kinematic data to quantify occupational risk factors related to repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. The wrist brace had rotary encoders positioned over flexion/extension and radial/ulnar deviation joint rotation centres. Thirteen subjects performed activities of daily living while wearing the brace and kinematic data were also collected with VICON motion capture. Range of motion, mean angle, peak and mean velocity, and mean acceleration were compared for each task. There were no significant differences between the brace and VICON measurements in both axial directions. Both collection methods could differentiate between tasks based on the data collected (p<0.025). The brace shows proof of concept for tracking occupational risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome and use in ergonomic assessment, as well as provide measurements for possible extension of assessment procedures.

Wrist brace, Ergonomics, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Occupational risk factors, Wrist kinematics