Available Technologies: Health Sciences

A hand-controller with both practical and therapeutic applications for people with hand impairment.

Benefitsi-boll

  • Usability: much easier to set-up than conventional controllers, as there are no cables for hands to wrestle with.
  • Intuitive: it’s easy to use with children as young as five using it independently in the home.
  • Accessibility: no computer or software is required to navigate. It interfaces with most mobile smart devices that a user may already own and is familiar with, resulting in a lower entry cost.
  • Flexibility: the device can be “customised” to suit any user’s specific hand impairment such as arthritis, stroke or cerebral palsy, through additive manufacture. It can also be used sitting in its wireless recharging cradle or out of the cradle in a user’s lap.
  • Durability: i-boll will not become technologically obsolete, as it will be designed to interface with future versions of mobile devices.
  • Unique: i-boll fills an unmet need in a number of large market segments presenting an opportunity for pipeline development of hardware and software products adapted to different market segments.

Background

In today’s increasingly independent and active lifestyle, patients with physical impairment due to age, cerebral palsy or stroke feel the need for improved devices capable of helping them lead a quality life. The healthcare industry is increasingly focused on providing rehabilitation devices with advanced technologies that help patients recover their lost sensory functions and carry out day-to-day activities freely.
 
Innovations in robotics, virtual reality, wearables, sensors and wireless technologies are supporting product and technology advances in the rehabilitation device sector. Improved patient motivation and compliance, as well as data collection and progress monitoring, has the capacity to transform the rehabilitation device market.

Technology

i-boll is an accessible, stand-alone, haptic serious gaming system for people with hand impairments. It provides access to gaming and digital technology, as well as providing a new form of therapy.

By placing the hands over sensors on either side of the i-boll, the device can be moved from left to right to manage controls.

From a therapy perspective, the system incorporates forced bi-manual use. This is controlled by sensors on either side of the device which can detect hand placement. All activity is logged, and can provide clinicians, therapists or users with information on use.

Clinical trials for therapeutic use with cerebral palsy and stroke have been completed.

Potential market

i-boll has a wide range of applications where hand impairment may lead to the inability to control standard devices such as remote controls and gaming systems. For example:

  • Aged care
  • Disability
  • Gaming.

IP Status

i-boll is protected by patents in the US, Singapore and Australia, which have recently entered national phase (WO 2014/078902 A1).

Partnering opportunities

We are seeking investment to bring this product to market. i-boll is a partnership between Flinders University, University of South Australia and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide.

Inventors

Commercial lead