The students of medical and engineering stream in Pune have collectively developed a hand glove prototype device for screening and aiding doctors in diagnosis by palpation method. The innovation came forward during MEDHA-2017 (Medical Device Hackathon) event organised last week in the BJ Medical College (BJMC) Pune in association with College of Engineering Pune (COEP) and IIT-Mumbai.
Many diseases can be diagnosed using palpation technique in which doctors touch the organs in the body to determine the medical condition of the organ. Doctors do primary investigation by touching these organs in many kinds of tumors, hernia, abdominal distention, fremitus etc.
In rural areas, where specialists are not present and many a times tumors go undiagnosed, such kind of device would prove to be helpful. Students, explaining how the glove works, said that ASHA worker or any healthcare worker in rural areas would use the glove. A doctor from city would have a numatic chamber with them. The same kind of pressure signals would then occur in the chamber’s silicon rubber. The city doctor, by putting his or her hand on the chamber, can then feel the same pressure as felt by the healthcare worker in rural area who is actually touching the organ.
While explaining technical workings of the prototype, Bhushan Darekar, Second Year M.Tech student from COEP, who was part of the team that developed the prototype, said, “The hand glove sends feedback signals. The health worker would touch the organ. Ans the attached force censor would measure analogue value of the organ. That analogue value would then go to micro controller for processing. We have attached a numatic chamber. Compressor will send air to the chamber. Pressure sensor feedback would be sent to the micro controller and the same force would be created on silicon rubber of the numatic chamber. The doctor in urban area, once put their hand on the silicon rubber would be able to feel the same pressure on it.”
Yashodhan Morey, a third year, BJ Medical College student, said, “With the help of telemedicine, we can just see patients, but cannot touch the organs. This prototype is an attempt to cross this hurdle. If there is pus in the organ, then the pressure sensor would feel soft. If the city doctor can feel any emergency then the person can be called for the further treatment in the city area.”
The students have named the prototype as ‘a portable haptic feedback device’. Samidha Tamhankar, a biomedical engineering student and Thadomal Shahni were the other team members who developed this prototype.
The prototype would also give signals with the help of lights. Red light indicates the hardness of the organ, while blue indicates softness and green is for firmness of the organ. The prototype has developed indicators for measuring size, shape, temperature and consistency of the organ.
MEDHA is a platform which works on indigenous medical device innovations; it is where interested doctors and engineers can team up to create innovative solutions for unmet clinical needs. Two more rounds of MEDHA are remaining which will be held in Wardha and Kolhapur.
In the first round, as many as 20 medical problems were identified by the doctors were presented before the participants. From these 20 problems, eight problems were selected by the teams to work upon. Innovative solutions to solve these problems were offered in the form of prototypes