Hand-based Device to Provide Temperature Feedback

Poly or peripheral neuropathy often occurs after a neurological injury and results in diminished or loss of sensation in the extremities, such as temperature perception. Poly or peripheral neuropathy can also be caused by vitamin deficiencies, bone marrow diseases and autoimmune disorders, thus there is a significant patient population with whom this affects. Individuals who have difficulty sensing temperatures may hold onto objects that are excessively hot or cold for too long, resulting in injury and tissue damage. While there are devices on the market that provide some sensing capabilities, they are often too costly or bulky for everyday life. Solutions are needed which reduce the impact of poly or peripheral neuropathy on health and quality of life.
Researchers at Arizona State University, in collaboration with therapists at Dignity Health have developed a novel glove with the ability to sense the temperature of objects in close proximity or in direct contact. Once the temperature is detected, different forms of feedback, visual, auditory and haptic, can be rapidly provided to the wearer. This glove reduces the likelihood of injury due to the increased awareness of potentially harmful stimuli and also provides greater independence with daily activities, such as cooking, bathing, ironing, etc.  Further, all components of the glove were carefully selected to ensure it is lightweight, temperature resistant, breathable and waterproof for greater comfort and extended wear time.
By using this novel glove, users with upper extremity sensation loss can increase their awareness of harmful stimuli and obtain greater independence in daily life.
Potential Applications
  • Temperature sensing gloves
    • Standard solution for patients with poly or peripheral neuropathy
    • Standard solution for patients post-stroke or TBI
    • Rehabilitation or occupational therapy
Benefits and Advantages
  • Rapid response time – decreases the risk of injury, secondary to sensory loss, from dangerous surface temperatures
  • Provide multiple different feedback forms depending on user preference (visual, auditory or haptic), which can be adjusted or turned off or on at will
  • Designed to be less bulky and more comfortable, mobile and functional
  • Lightweight, temperature resistant, durable, breathable and waterproof – extends wear time and comfort
  • Low-cost and user friendly
  • Use of this device can increase user awareness of harmful stimuli
  • Easy to don and doff