Celina Leão https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3725-5771

Vinicius Silva https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0082-343X

Susana Pinto da Costa https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7440-8787


Framework This paper explores how a qualitative systematic literature review (SLR) can contribute to our understanding of the trends in upper-limb wearable devices. These devices are pieces of electronic equipment that can be worn as accessories, such as watches, or embedded in clothing, including gloves and sleeves, and could play an essential role in subjects' quality of life after any occurrence that affects their possibility to perform basic activities autonomously. Moreover, these devices can be used to improve manual performance tasks like surgical or precision tasks, and even more so when performed under extreme ambient temperature conditions. Goals and Methods: A SLR on upper-limb embedded devices was conducted based on scientific documents retrieved from the Scopus database. Two research questions were outlined: "How has this technology been evolving?" and "What is the trend according to the fields of application?". The combination of keywords (upper-limb* AND wearable* AND device*) was used in the title, abstract, and keywords fields. Results: A total of 555 documents were obtained. Descriptive statistical and bibliometric analyses were conducted, identifying trends, knowledge gaps, and the future direction of research. The free software VOSviewer was used to construct data visualization bibliometric maps of the co-authorship and co-citation network. A subset of 26 documents was considered for the critical qualitative synthesis. This step facilitated the visualization and exploration of the interconnectedness among authors and the citation patterns within the literature. Combining the information gathered enables addressing the extent and the emerging trends in upper-limb embedded devices' development according to the field they are applied. Final considerations: With this research, a starting point in developing a proof of concept of a novel device aimed at improving dexterity in challenging environments is established.



How to Cite

Leão, C., Vinicius Silva, & Susana Pinto da Costa. (2023). Emerging trends in upper-limb embedded devices: A qualitative research study . New Trends in Qualitative Research, 16, e796. https://doi.org/10.36367/ntqr.16.2023.e796