Student designs new software for stroke patients


Student designs new software for stroke patients

Graham Ranson decided to develop a software program for his dissertation project after watching his dad’s rehabilitation following a stroke.

The system has a number of tasks which are designed to help re-build skills that can be lost following a stroke, such as hand and eye co-ordination, balance, range of motion and cognitive abilities.

The software is designed for use on computers and potentially for use on games consoles that people have at home, to enable rehabilitation to continue between visits to the hospital or doctor.

Graham is in his final year of a BSc (Hons) Computer Science (Games Development) and recently won a BAFTA as part of a team of School of Computing and Information Technology students who designed a new video game, Boro-Toro.

The 23-year-old from Oxford said: “My dad had a stroke last November and it was his idea that stimulated my work. He can walk now and his speech is better but his arm did not fully recover. The software can chart how patients progress, and can test them to see how they are improving.

“Hopefully patients using the software would gain some functional independence like they had before they had the stroke, and work on things in between hospital visits. I would like to see it being made into a real product that can be used by patients.”

Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences, Dr Gillian Pearce, is an expert in strokes and has been actively involved in Graham’s work and previous projects involving stroke software. She said: “Stroke patients are sometimes allowed to go home a few weeks after their stroke has occurred and physiotherapy is then limited due to the constraints of available resources. They can sometimes feel that relatively little is available when they leave hospital.

“I think Graham’s software is straight forward to use, versatile and low cost and I would love to see it get to the stage where it is being used by stroke patients and in the home.”

The University is currently looking to progress the technology towards a commercial end product or service, and anyone interested in supporting the project can contact Dr Iain Alexander on 01902 323922.

Further information

Picture: Dr Gillian Pearce with student Graham Ranson, who designed the software

 

For media inquiries, contact Vickie Woodward in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736 or 07973 335112.

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