An Automated Acupressure Glove for Stress and Pain Relief Using 3D Printing
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Acupressure is the non-invasive form of acupuncture; a complementary and alternative medicine based on the concept of life energy which flows through “meridians” in the body and uses point pressure to stimulate acupoints instead of needles. Though acupressure is not a mainstream approach in medical treatment, its efficiency on providing effective relief from stress and strain has held its evidence for ages. There are a range of acupressure devices available, all with the fundamental design of having spiked surfaces; mostly rollers, rods or balls. Time required in achieving relief and manual mode of operation is hindering their popularity. Also as pressure needs to be applied for considerable time, stretching application of pressure by spiked roller/rod/ball causes discomfort and pain, thereby making individual reduce the periodicity of application of pressure leading to less effective relief. Hence the idea of developing an automated acupressure glove was conceptualised so as to develop a simple biomedical device that provides utmost relief from stress and pain with least effort by the user. This new design consists of a dual layered glove and a programmed electronic module. This smart bio medical wearable device provides auto-stimulation of acupressure points on the hands-palm and fingers using pressure build up in the potential chamber developed in between the two layers of the glove. The inner layer is made from a combination of liquid resin material and generated using rapid prototyping based on PolyJet technology. The outer layer is an air proof material and creates a potential chamber for pressure build up in between as both the layers are attached along its margins. The concept design being very simple and smart can be used by anyone and anywhere as it does not require supervision of a medical professional. Following ergonomics at every level of design, the acupressure glove is a revolutionary yet simple biomedical device that is developed from a combination of 3D modelling, rapid prototyping and microcontroller programming.
KeywordsAcupressure Rapid Prototyping Biomedical PolyJet technology Ergonomics Wearable Medical devices
This medical innovation would be incomplete without proper gratitude cited to the people who have been encouraging, guiding and assisting us in this venture. First , we thank Almighty for being with us throughout the project. We express our sincere gratitude to the Chief Investigator of the Biomedical Engineering and Technology Incubation Centre (BETiC) and Chair Professor of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Prof. B. Ravi, for giving us the opportunity to be a part of this highly ambitious project. A token of gratitude to everyone from the corporate, medical and engineering field who have helped us progress with this challenging project at every stage of development.
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