Robotic Sock Technology for Prevention of Deep Vein Thrombosis and Joint Contracture

Project Outline

Bedridden patients have increased risk of developing blood clots in their deep veins due to prolonged immobility, leading to deep vein thrombosis (DVT). In severe cases, blood clots in deep veins can dislodge into the blood circulation occluding arteries in the lungs, leading to pulmonary embolism. Current treatment approaches include pharmacological prophylaxis to prevent blood clot development. In addition, common mechanical prophylaxis such as intermittent pneumatic compression and anti-embolism stockings, have limited efficacy in preventing DVT based on existing clinical evidence.

This technology utilises pneumatic actuators to mimic the motions of a physical therapist in a patient suffering from DVT and/or joint contracture. It promotes blood flow and overall extremity health in bedridden patients by combining a joint angle sensor, soft double-extension actuators, a pump-valve control system, and fabric components to automatically provide assisted dorsiflexion and plantarflexion movements of the ankle. It aims to provide higher degree of effectiveness in preventing issues relating to DVT compared to existing products, at a reduced cost of materials.

Project Deliverables

A regulatory compliant minimum viable product with (i) improved force output, and (ii) proven clinical outcomes, in ankle joint contracture & deep vein thrombosis.

Principal Investigator: Dr LIM Jeong Hoon

Institution: National University Hospital Singapore

NHIC Ref: NHIC-I2D-1512094