Madglove – helping people get a grasp on hand spasticity.

Madglove is developing a low-tech rehabilitation glove to help people with neurological conditions regain their independence.

Madalina Riurean
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Human Movement Science Research Master

Over het initiatief / About the initiative

Madglove – helping people get a grasp on hand spasticity.

In welke fase zit jouw initiatief? / In what stage is your initiative?


Heb je jouw initiatief al gevalideerd? / Did you validate your initiative?

Yes, the initial prototype was tested with 20 stroke survivors in a lab setting. We have now made improvements to that glove in a co-creative process with experts and end-users and have started a feasibility study which will allow 24 stroke survivors to use the glove in their home environment.

Meer informatie over jouw initiatief / More info about your initiative

Madglove is a start-up founded by five driven young individuals, who want to make an impact. Our main activity is to develop and market an innovative and accessible home-based rehabilitation solution to improve hand dexterity in individuals suffering from spasticity. A common symptom of neurological disorders (stroke, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, spinal cord injury) is upper extremity spasticity, causing muscle stiffness, ‘locking’ the wrist and fingers in a fist-like position. Due to this, simple tasks such as making a cup of coffee or putting on a jacket become difficult, or even impossible to do. This  drastically lowers a person’s confidence, participation in society and quality-of-life. We are creating a simple, easy-to-use glove that stabilizes the wrist, extends the fingers and improves hand function during daily activities, giving a person back their independence. Our low-tech solution is currently being developed with end-users and experts, and is meant to be easily accessible to anyone who needs it. With our end-users in mind, our design is ideal for independent home-use, something that is completely missing from usual care. Surprisingly, the gloves that exist on the market are completely unintuitive. Existing gloves are large and bulky, cover most of the hand, and worst of all, individuals with spasticity can’t put them on by themselves. With these flaws in mind we have developed a functional prototype that will be tested in an NWO-funded study with 24 stroke survivors which starten in June 2023. Through this feedback we will be able to make the necessary alterations, and create a final product. Madglove is based in the Netherlands. Here we have a comprehensive network of rehabilitation clinics with which we are developing our gloves. Due to this, the Netherlands is an excellent market entry point. However, the number of people worldwide living with spasticity is constantly increasing, as more and more people live with the devastating effects of neurological diseases, urging us to expand within the EU and beyond.

Wat is er anders/nieuw aan jouw idee/oplossing t.o.v. bestaande oplossingen? / What is different/new about your idea/solution compared to existing solutions??

In short, Madglove has 4 unique selling propositions: it allows independent use, sensory feedback, it has a modular design, and it is highly accessible. Madglove will be the first European design to allow people with hand spasticity to integrate it in their life independently. While there is a lot of research and capital invested in high-tech product development for clinical use, we find that individuals are still severely under-served in their daily lives. Consequently, a gap is created, which we aim to fill, and by doing this, we will ultimately improve the quality of life of millions of people. Another innovative aspect of our design is that it allows the user to interact with their environment as much as possible. This feature has been sacrificed in other designs that are already on the market, and this ends up making the product unusable for a large part of the disability spectrum that is created by hand spasticity, leaving even more people under-served. Furthermore, the modularity of our design adds another layer of complexity to our idea, further complementing the inclusivity aspect of the glove. With this feature, end-users can adapt the glove to their own unique, changing needs. Lastly, the combination of our highly scalable design and established presence in the booming entrepreneurial, technological, and scientific epicentre that is the Netherlands, puts us in a unique position both in the European, but also in the global market, for a maximized impact. In a context in which individuals with disabilities are trained to compensate and work around their disability, we want to switch the paradigm to a mentality of overcoming and give people the support they need every day to take back control over their lives. Our dream is creating a world in which people have the right tools helping them overcome their disability and enjoy life to its fullest.

Wat zijn jouw volgende stappen om het verder te ontwikkelen? / What are your next steps to develop the initiative?

We have just started (June 12th 2023) an NWO-funded feasibility study together with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. During this six month period we are giving the glove to 24 stroke patients to use in their home. This will allow us to get necessary feedback to make improvements and it will give the participants the opportunity to keep the glove after the trial period – giving us our first customers. We are also adding new rehabilitation clinics to our network through product demonstrations. Beyond that, we are actively looking for funding in order to manufacture the first batch of market-ready gloves in the beginning of 2024.

Wat heb je nodig om (nog meer) impact te maken met dit initiatief? / What do you need to make (more) impact with this initiative?

In order to make the most impact possible we require adequate funding and awareness. We are pursuing funding opportunities through grants, such as the NWO, innovation funds and competitions. In order to increase awareness of what we are doing, we are active on instagram/facebook, LinkedIn and are posting regular blogs and newsletters on our website. Beyond that, we are reaching out to as many foundations and rehabilitation organizations as possible to get the chance to demo our product and co-create with these experts. With competitions such as this one, we gain more traction, reach more people and create the maximal impact possible.