Development and Usability Testing of a Finger Grip Enhancer for the Elderly

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Tan D.W.H.
Ng P.K.
Noor E.E.M.
Saptari A.
Hue C.C.
Ng Y.J.
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As people age, their finger function deteriorates due to muscle, nerve, and brain degener-ation. While exercises might delay this deterioration, an invention that enhances elderly people�s pinching abilities is essential. This study aims to design and develop a finger grip enhancer that facilitates the day-to-day pinching activities of elderly people. This research is an extension of a previous study that conceptualised a finger grip enhancer. The device facilitates finger flexion on the thumb and index finger, and weighs 520 g, allowing for improved portability and sufficient force exertion (13.9 N) for day-to-day pinching. To test for usability, eleven subjects aged 65 years and above performed a pinch-lift-hold test on various household objects. The pinch force before and after utilising the device was measured. Using Minitab 18, the statistical significance of using this device was analysed with a paired-samples t-test. With this device, the elderly people�s pinching abilities significantly improved in both pinch force and pinch force steadiness (p < 0.05). The proposed device has the potential to enhance elderly people�s quality of life by supporting a firm pinch in the handling of everyday objects. This research has applicational value in developing exoskeleton devices for patients who require rehabilitation. � 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.