Abstract

3 to 5 million Americans are affected by lymphedema and 140 to 200 million patients worldwide [1,2]. The chronic, progressive condition is only treatable, but not curable, leaving patients with debilitating symptoms that can significantly impair their quality of life [3]. Treatments include manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) massage and compression garments, often applied sequentially. MLD is limited by consistent access to a qualified lymphedema therapist. Our wearable device utilizes vibration to mimic the patterns of massage in MLD. The long-term goal is to enable at-home maintenance therapy between MLD sessions and improve the overall management of lymphedema. Acceleration, frequency, and sound levels of our motors were tested and compared to current clinical solutions. Acceleration testing was conducted by placing an accelerometer in a tissue model at varying distances to collect acceleration data at different duty cycles. Frequency data was calculated in MATLAB using FFT. Acceleration, sound frequency, and sound level of our motors were all within a close range of the values collected from clinical tools. The acceleration frequency of the motors rose slightly with an increased duty cycle, but did not exceed the smaller clinical tool frequency values. Based on our testing, the motors used in our device are comparable to clinical tools currently used by certified lymphedema therapists.

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