Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Abertay unveils smart technology that could help to cut physiotherapy waiting times

09.02.2007
Technology with the potential to help cut physiotherapy waiting times has been unveiled by the University of Abertay Dundee.

Researchers in Abertay’s School of Computing and Creative Technologies have developed an intelligent exoskeleton that can be programmed to remember and repeat specific limb movements.

The NeXOS system will enable physiotherapists to devise exercise programmes customized to the individual needs of any patient with lower limb problems. As well as victims of leg or spinal cord injuries, this could include stroke patients.

Such patients need regular exercise of the affected limb, to keep muscles in trim and prevent the loss of bone mineral density. There are currently 28,000 people on waiting lists for physiotherapy in Scotland.

NeXOS can exercise patients’ legs exactly as the physiotherapist wishes, but without the need for the physiotherapist to be present in person. Many more patients could be treated per therapist, leading to potentially big cuts in waiting times.

As well as providing exercise tailored precisely to each patient’s requirements, NeXOS can also monitor how well each patient is responding and send data back to the physiotherapist, using the internet if necessary.

This opens up the possibility of NeXOS being used away from conventional clinics, perhaps being installed in local gyms and sports centres or even patients’ own homes. Patients would be able to exercise almost anytime, anywhere, and physiotherapists would be able to monitor progress and adjust settings accordingly by remote control.

Abertay researchers led by Professor David Bradley developed NeXOS in conjunction with the Universities of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam, and Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The project was supported by the Department of Health through its NEAT (New and Emerging Applications of Technology) programme.

NeXOS uses pneumatics technology because of its ability to be programmed to variable degrees of power and resistance. Power is needed to move immobile limbs, but gradually increasing resistance is needed to encourage muscles to regain their strength.

The device was originally intended to be an intelligent exo-skeleton that could improve the mobility of people with permanent lower limb disabilities, but Professor Bradley and his colleagues quickly realized that the basic concept could be modified into a rehabilitation tool for temporary lower limb problems as well.

Researchers videotaped dozens of physiotherapy sessions, recording exactly how the feet and legs of patients were being manipulated, and converting the movements into a range of mathematical models describing the movements in three dimensions.

These formulae were then used to programme the exoskeleton with the variety of motions it needs to work. The result is that a physiotherapist can adjust the range, speed and direction of each movement, ensuring that the patient is getting treatment appropriate to his or her condition.

As well as academics at the three universities involved, practising physiotherapists, clinicians, engineers, mathematicians, health administrators and patients were all involved in brainstorming and analysing the concept. Further research is planned on ways in which therapists could use the technology more effectively, and the Abertay-led team is now looking to stage further trials in conjunction with a potential manufacturer

Kevin Coe | alfa
Further information:
http://www.abertay.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period
27.07.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Serious children’s infections also spreading in Switzerland
26.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Programming cells with computer-like logic

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Identified the component that allows a lethal bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period

27.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>