One of the best things in life is having a healthy and able body. As such, students and faculty from the Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering at Mahidol University invented a tool to assist patients with neurological deficits from stroke or the drop foot disorder. Mahidol University also organized a project called "Healthy Walk for Father of the Land" to give and demonstrate 85 nerve stimulation machines (Healthy Walk Machine) to patients from Siriraj Hospital, Ramathibodi Hospital, Golden Jubilee Medical Center, and Faculty of Physical Rehabilitation. These patients were selected because these devices could vastly improve their quality of life.
Assistant Professor Phira Sithiamnuai explained, on December 3, 2012, that the Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering of Mahidol University organized the "Healthy Walk for Father of the Land" to celebrate the 85th birthday of His Majesty the King on December 5, 2012. He also pointed out that the University appreciated the effort by the Faculty of Engineering to produce devices that benefit Thai citizens. By developing skills and expertise toward the benefit of mankind, this project embodied Mahidol University's determination to be "Wisdom of the Land".
This multiple awards winning device is the endeavor of Mr. Jirawat and Mr. Ratikorn who are Master Degree candidates at the Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering of Mahidol University. Dr. Seng Lerd... is their faculty advisor who facilitates the success of the device.
Mr. Jirawat and Mr. Ratikorn explained that the "Healthy Walk Machine" provides electrical stimulation to the muscles of patients who suffer from stroke or drop foot disorder. It has three main components: 1. a small and light electrical stimulator; 2. a soft and durable sensor detecting when the sole of the foot touches the ground; 3. an electrode to be placed near the knee. The ancillary equipment includes Velcro belts, socks, and battery charger.
The "Healthy Walk Machine" works because the lift off of sole of the foot from the ground provides a feedback for the stimulator to activate muscles that lift up the tip of the foot. This simple principle allows patients to walk more gracefully without dragging their feet. The "Healthy Walk Machine" strengthens the muscles and reduces atrophy and scar formation. Patients can also use this device to improve their physical rehabilitation at home.
Dr, Seng.. said that similar machine has been available for about twenty years. Unfortunately, more than one hundred thousands stroke patients in Thailand do not have access to the device because the cost is prohibitive. This fact inspires the students to develop an improved version of the device that is more suitable for Thai patients. The result is a much lighter and smaller device (less than a match box) that does so much to improve the quality of life in Thai society. So far, 60 patients have benefits from the "Healthy Walk Machine". The team aims to produce 500 devices in 2012.
Dr. Seng... also explained that the Mahidol University's Healthy Walk for Father of the Land project celebrates the 85th birthday of His Majesty the King and fulfills social responsibility by providing and demonstrating proper use of 85 "Healthy Walk Machines" without any cost to the patients. He hoped the devices would benefit and improve the quality of life of the patients.
"Healthy Walk Machine" is an excellent example of creative products by an active new generation of Thais who care deeply about well being of the society. They truly deserve our full supports.
For more information please contact Public Relation Office, Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering of Mahidol University at phone number 0-2889-2138 extensions 6044-48.
Date :December 4, 2012