Design and validation of the Grip-ball for measurement of hand grip strength

Abstract : The Grip-ball is a new dynamometer used to evaluate grip strength, as well as for use in home-based rehabilitation of the hand and forearm. The Grip-ball consists of pressure and temperature sensors and an electronic wireless communication system contained in an airtight ball. That can be inflated to different pressures. The device has advantages over standard dynamometers in that it looks like a simple ball, and can wirelessly communicate via Bluetooth to any compatible receiver, thus have potential to be used for clinical assessment and rehabilitation in a remote setting. The reliability and reproducibility of the device were assessed for the pressure sensor itself, as well as the relationship between the force applied and the pressure measured by the Grip-ball. The initial validation was performed using the pressure sensor without the ball in order to confirm the accuracy of the sensor used. A second validation study was conducted using the Grip-ball rather than just its sensor to examine the relationship between the pressure measured inside the ball and force applied. The results showed that there is a very good correlation (r = 0.997, p < 0.05) between the pressure measured by the Grip-ball sensor and that measured by a Vigorimeter, thus confirming the reliability of the sensor used in the Grip-ball. A quadratic regression equation was calculated in order to predict the force applied based on the pressure measured inside the ball, and the initial pressure to which the ball was inflated (R² = 0.97, standard error 10.9 N). Such a finding compares favourably with the variability inherent in Jamar recordings, thus indicating that the Grip-ball could be used to assess grip force. An industrial version of the Grip-ball, which is currently under development, will be able to be used for the entire range of grip force in the population.
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Rana Jaber, David Hewson, Jacques Duchene. Design and validation of the Grip-ball for measurement of hand grip strength. Medical Engineering & Physics, 2012, 34 (9), pp.1356-1361. ⟨10.1016/j.medengphy.2012.07.001⟩. ⟨hal-02307876⟩

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