The NUS-NUH team, comprising Asst/Prof Raye Yeow from NUS Biomedical Engineering, and Asst/Prof Lim Jeong Hoon from NUH Medicine, developed the 3rd generation clinical-grade soft robotic sock during the course of the NHIC grant.
The soft robotic sock seeks to address the risk of developing ankle joint contracture and deep vein thrombosis in bedridden patients with chronic immobility. The robotic sock comprises of dual extension soft actuators that can assist the patient with dorsiflexion-plantarflexion and inversion-eversion ankle exercises.
With the use of soft robotics, we are able to provide compliant actuation of the patient’s ankle without causing discomfort, unlike the restrictive single-plane joint motion arising from traditional rigid ankle continuous-passive-motion devices. In addition, our soft robotic sock provides a safer mechanical alternative to pharmacological prophylaxis, such as anti-coagulant drugs, which tend to have side effects.
NHIC support, in terms of funding and regulatory aspects, has aided us significantly to the success of the project, especially for device development and conduct of clinical trials. Through this NHIC-funded project, we have achieved a clinical-grade soft robotic sock that is robust for longitudinal clinical trials, and collected efficacy data of our device from the stroke patients participating in our clinical trials. NHIC has also been immensely helpful in raising the awareness of this product and provided a platform for marketing and sourcing for partners.
Our soft robotics technology has been licensed to NUS spinoff, Roceso Technologies – Singapore’s 1st soft robotics company, and we plan to launch the technology in hospitals in US, China and Southeast Asia.