Completed Projects

Gamification of Hand Rehabilitation Exercise with Wearable Data Gloves

Funding Agency: Singapore Health Technologies Consortium (HealthTEC), National University of Singapore

Funding Quantum: SGD $50, 000

Duration of Award: August 2021 to August 2022

Role: Principal Investigator

What the project is about:

Physical hand rehabilitation incorporates physical exercises, which can be difficult and demotivating for patients. For some patients (particularly stroke patients), timely intervention is crucial in the recovery of patients, but low patient engagement and insufficient therapist provision (long waiting times) can delay or inhibit recovery. Singapore sees more than 8,000 cases of stroke a year, and as the population ages, the number is likely to increase.

Most of the existing solutions for upper extremity physical rehab lacks the motivational element to encourage patients to adhere to their rehab plans or are very bulky hardware with complex set-up. StretchSkin wearable gloves that can detect motion and gripping force using stretchable electronic sensors are highly usable and at an affordable price, easy to set-up and use at the clinic or at home. The StretchSkin gloves will be designed to communicate with a physical rehab gamification platform which was developed by CHESS, NTU.

Prototype of wearable data glove develop by StrechSkin Technologies Pte Ltd

This collaboration between NTU and StretchSkin would benefit stroke and less mobile patients by incorporating the use of motion and grip force detection in StretchSkin gloves in existing rehabilitation games, such as the Virtual Exercise Therapist System (VETS) platform developed by Centre for Healthy and Sustainable Cities (CHESS) at Nanyang Technological University. Currently, VETS focuses on whole body rehabilitation exercises and exergames (upper-limbs and lower-limbs) using Kinect Camera as input controller. As such, VETS could not serve patients that are immobile and/or bed-bound, and patients would only benefit using the system if they can bring themselves to the TV or projector screen and interact with the games. The integration of StretchSkin gloves into the existing VETS system would create a user-friendly and seamless rehabilitation experience by enabling immobile or bed-bound patients to engage in gamified rehabilitation.

Thus, the collaboration enhances the VETS system with more use-cases and expanding its target user groups. In addition, the collaboration also enhances the StretchSkin gloves system with more engaging ways to use for the elderly/patients. StretchSkin would create an additional line of product for StretchSkin to commercialize. As a licensee of VETS system, this would facilitate the sales of VETS as it would provide a competitive advantage by having wearables as an added peripheral for patients to interact with the rehab platform.

Seniors playing exergames with wearable gloves

Examining and developing communication strategies to promote equitable use of health and financial asset tokenization platforms in Singapore: A communication inequality perspective

Funding Agency: Nanyang Technological University

Funding Quantum: SGD $5,000

Duration of Award: September 2021 to September 2022

Role: Principal Investigator

What the project is about:

The increasing adoption of blockchain technology by Singapore’s financial and healthcare sectors have gained public attention on the potential benefits of asset tokenization—the conversion of physical assets (e.g., properties, equities) into fractional digital tokens on a blockchain platform with legal ownership rights.

To date, financial companies have tokenized assets such as properties or stocks where individuals could legally purchase or sell fractional shares of a properties/equities at affordable quantum. In healthcare, tokenizing health data (e.g., medical health records, physiological data from health apps/wearables) is gaining traction, where individuals decide how their data would be used (funnelling it for research or to make purchasing/investment decision with it).

While there are potential benefits of asset tokenization such as democratizing access, ownership, and decision-making of health and financial assets traditionally available to the rich, the benefits may not be equally accrued by all populations, and potentially may amplify health and financial inequalities instead of closing them.

This study aims to achieve the overarching goals:

  • Examine motivations/barriers of adopting health and financial asset tokenization among the poor through the perspective of communication inequalities—the differences among social groups in the generation, manipulation, and distribution of information;
  • Develop evidence-based communication strategies to close gaps in adoption/use of asset tokenization among the poor to promote financial/digital health well-being

This would be achieved through 2 work packages (WPs):

  • WP1: In-depth interviews (n =30) with (a) blockchain developers in health/financial sectors, (b) government agencies (e.g., GovTech), and (c) low-income/education groups
  • WP2: Pilot-testing of communication and nudging messages to increase adoption of asset tokenization platforms through online experiments (n = 500)

This project will be significant in providing the first social-science theoretical and evidence-based perspective in using communication strategies to bridge disparities in use of asset tokenization technology to drive equitable health/financial outcomes.