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 Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

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: New Method of Characterizing Graphene

Scientists have developed a new method of characterizing graphene’s properties without applying disruptive electrical contacts, allowing them to investigate both the resistance and quantum capacitance of graphene and other two-dimensional materials. Researchers from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel’s Department of Physics reported their findings in the journal Physical Review Applied.

Graphene consists of a single layer of carbon atoms. It is transparent, harder than diamond and stronger than steel, yet flexible, and a significantly better...

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

3D printer inks from the woods

30.05.2017 | Life Sciences

How circadian clocks communicate with each other

30.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Graphene and quantum dots put in motion a CMOS-integrated camera that can see the invisible

30.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>