Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header


Article Category

Article available in the following languages:

Hats off for hands on

Ask any artist what the most difficult part of the human body is to capture the image of and nine times out of ten the answer will be "hands". The same seems to be true for the medical imaging sector, where tools used have not really been specifically designed for charting the cartography of the hand and cannot therefore construct an accurate image of the hand's injuries to a fully acceptable extent.

Health icon Health

By far the most utilised part of the human body other than the brain, are hands. We use them for practically every action, deed or task. It is therefore no surprise to see that hands constitute the greatest statistic of injuries across the European continent. Despite this, even the most experienced therapist has considerable difficulty in assessing the extent of a hand's injury due to crushing or stabbing wounds for example. HATS (Hand Assessment and Treatment System) addresses this shortcoming, presenting an automated data acquisition and assessment tool that seeks to eliminate many of the anomalies associated with tasks such as assessing the fluid build up around damaged or violated tissues. In total, the whole development consists of a compilation of five electronic machines capable of assessing motion range, grip strength and oedema. Supported by a data acquisition system, a computerised touch screen console and advanced programming software for logging purposes, the HATS system presents a 50% reduction to current hand injury assessment practices. Because the assessment tool utilises computerised features especially designed for hands, it is also far more accurate than standard procedures used. As such it makes considerable advances in the overall medical practice, improving technical specifications, data acquisition and analysis, therefore allowing specialists the ease to practice more precise judgement. This practical hand evaluation technology is also capable of logging patient details, progress and demographics, providing science with a more robust tool than artists ever had.

Discover other articles in the same domain of application