Rheumatoid arthritis affects 0.5 to 1% of the general population. The prediction and prognosis of the disease varies for each individual and its course can detrimentally affect the psychosocial condition of the patient. Clinicians and Therapists aim to quickly diagnose and treat those with this debilitating disease. Detection relies heavily on manual evaluation methods that are dependent on training and can vary between observers. Angle measuring instrument, tape measure and grip strength dynamometer are used to assess the joint range and strength of a patient to determine their hand function. Joint stiffness can be a determining factor when diagnosing the advancement and improvement of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
This PhD project focuses on the development of a hand movement measurement tool to accurately quantify patients’ flexion, extension, abduction and adduction movement of each finger joint and quantifies the symptom of “early morning stiffness”.