A Healthcare Wearable for Chronic Pain Management. Design of a Smart Glove for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Göncü Berk G. , Topcuoglu N.

DESIGN JOURNAL, vol.20, 2017 (Journal Indexed in AHCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14606925.2017.1352717
  • Title of Journal : DESIGN JOURNAL


Chronic diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis affect everyday life of people at multiple scales and require continuous medications and physical therapy for alleviating the symptoms. Wearable technologies offer promising benefits in management of chronic diseases with at home rehabilitation possibilities. This research explored the design process of an e-textile based smart glove that can be used by Rheumatoid Arthritis patients in home environment to reduce pain by applying electrical stimulation therapy and limit hand deformities with textile based splint structures. The whole design process was carried out in close collaboration with medical professionals and sufferers of the disease through iterative prototyping and testing. The multi-disciplinary nature of the smart glove development required a framework for design research covering medical and physiological considerations, textile and electronics technology, and manufacturing methods. The implementation of the design required comfort characterization tests for textiles, electrical characterization tests for e-textile structures and clinical trials.