PROBLEM: To create a device that measures grip strength of Multiple Sclerosis patients while they walk their dogs. Multiple Sclerosis is a disabling disease of the central nervous system that can cause fatigue, difficulty walking, vision issues, and numbness. One of the manifestations of these symptoms is a loss of grip strength. The rate at which grip strength is lost is an indicator of how quickly the disease is progressing. We wanted to provide an unobtrusive way to measure this loss over time. What better way than to record grip strength than to do it during a therapeutic and enjoyable activity such as walking your dog?
SOLUTION: GripTrack is an affordable, accessible, and easily assembled kit that adapts to a dog leash in order to record grip strength data during dog walks. The kit is comprised of a main 3D printed case, which houses a micro-controller (MetaWear) and a force sensor (FSR), multiple 3D printed attachments, and a variety of fastening devices. The main housing measure grip strength through the depression of a large button that directs our user's gripping force onto the FSR. The micro-controller then records this data and either stores it locally or sends it, via Bluetooth, to the user's phone. The various attachments and fasteners then intuitively secure the device to a variety of leashes.
The fact that this device records medically relevant data, during an everyday and commonplace activity such as walking your dog, creates a stigma free way to monitor their disease. Furthermore, this constant monitoring of Multiple Sclerosis allows for preemptive medication adjustments that could greatly improve a user's quality of life.