Robot ‘EMMA' increases productivity among physiotherapists

A Singapore-based started up company developed a robot accomplished to perform physiotherapy massages for muscle strains and injuries. Expert Manipulative Massage Automation (EMMA), a robotic arm with 3D printed massage tip, can deliver massage therapy for sports injuries and muscular pains.

 Emma is designed as a clinically precise tool to carry out treatment automatically as per the prescription of a physiotherapist. Emma can be stated as the solution for the problems facing by the physiotherapy clinics due to lack of trained therapists. The need for delivering high-quality massage can be survived with this robotic treatment. The constant hike in salaries, low profits for clinics and the lack of physically fit people for learning Traditional Chinese Medicine knowledge made TCM practice difficult.

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“This is probably the first such robot in the world developed specifically for use by TCM physicians and sports therapists,” said Albert Zhang, NTU graduate and AiTreat CEO. “Our aim is not to replace the therapists who are skilled in sports massage and acupoint therapy, but to improve productivity by enabling one therapist to treat multiple patients with the help of our robots,” he added.

Emma brings a scientific data with user-friendly interference and guidelines for pain management. It also helps medical practitioners to do a research and can have scientific support to demonstrate their patients about their progress in treatment. The robot consists of a single 6 robotic arm, efficient to perform highly articulated movements. A 3D-stereoscopic camera is enabled for vision and featured with a customised fully rotatable 3D- printed massage tip. Emma also equipped with built-in pressure sensors to ensure the safety and comfort if its patients when performing pedal exercises.

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Robot masseuse is held at different levels. It’s all about building a workflow to assign the hard, tedious, time-taking work to the robot. A physician needs to perform physical check-ups, acupuncture and manipulations. Singapore national basketball team is already using Emma services for acupoint therapy. Emma is diagnostic functions and sensors to measure the progress of the patient and the accurate stiffness of the muscle. The robot tracked a record of treating 50 patients with different conditions such as stiff neck and shoulders, tennis elbows, lower back pain and muscle pulls. This could be an excellent choice for physiotherapists and TMC practitioners to serve patients at a lower price.

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