Abstract

Sensitive measurement of hand dexterity is important in many neurological conditions such as Stroke, Parkinson's Disease, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Current multi-item rating scales and performance-based tests lack sensitivity and contain subjective biases. This paper presents the design and validation of an objective, novel hand-worn dexterity measurement device that digitizes the finger tapping test (FTT), a widely used test in neurological practice. The device was designed to address predefined user needs and design requirements. It comprises two distinct sections, a mechanical system that attaches to a participant's thumb and index finger and an electronic system that captures/transmits data to a secure cloud storage. The accuracy (for four devices) was validated by plotting the known displacements against the calculated displacements, which returned slopes approximately equal to one. A maximum extension force of 0.51 N was required to extend the cord to 200 mm extension. Clinical testing was carried out on a small sample of healthy people (n = 3) and people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (n = 3). Clean datasets were produced from participant's raw data graphs, from which new features describing a participant's FTT were extracted. The proposed dexterity device digitizes the FTT and provides clean, accurate, sensitive, and reliable data.

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