Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
Ampronix
Fluke Biomedical
Schiller

Tablet App Helps Monitor Neuromuscular Deficits

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 05 Mar 2013
Image: The NeuroAssess app in use on a tablet device (Photo courtesy of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering).
Image: The NeuroAssess app in use on a tablet device (Photo courtesy of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering).
A novel computer tablet application can rapidly and quantitatively assess neuromuscular performance for monitoring concussions, aging, and neurological function.

The new application, dubbed NeuroAssess, was developed by researchers at Harvard University (Harvard, Boston, MA, USA) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC, Boston, MA, USA). The app tracks hand-eye coordination by patients that use a stylus to follow a moving target around a circle. As the person performs the tracing task, proprietary computer algorithms measure deviations from the circular path. When analyzed as a function of age, sex, and handedness, the app algorithm can generate a number, or score, that shows differences in performance between various individuals or conditions.

Whereas current methods to assess neuromuscular function include subjective descriptions of a patient's reflexes and cognitive status, the tracing tool could add a slew of new information. For example, doctors can record a score for complexity, which relates to how well a person can adapt to changes, or motion fluidity, which relates to how long the patient pauses during the task. A study that used the app to collect baseline data from 150 healthy people from the Boston (MA, USA) area, aged 21 to 95, revealed, for example, that older subjects have lower complexity and motion fluidity scores.

The next goal of the researchers is to determine the potential of the device to become a quantitative assessment tool for groups of people with neuromuscular pathologies, such as those who suffered concussions or have multiple sclerosis. A study with athletes in the Boston area is already being conducted to determine the sensitivity of the technology in diagnosing concussions. The study was published ahead of print on February 5, 2013, in the Journal of Gerontology: Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences.

“This new tool may hold great potential to augment existing protocols in a doctor's neuromotor assessment toolbox. It is portable, repeatable, quick to administer, and easy to perform,” said study lead author senior staff engineer Leia Stirling, PhD, of the Harvard Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. “One day it might sit next to the thermometer and pressure cuff in the doctor's office. Just as your blood pressure is recorded during every visit, so could your neuromuscular score be tracked over time to determine progress through recovery and rehabilitation.”


Related Links:
Harvard University
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center


Centurion Service
MinXray
Bovie Medical

Channels

Surgical Techniques

view channel

Gold Nanoparticles Prevent Infection on Orthopedic Implants

Gold (Au) nanoparticles help prevent the formation of antibiotic resistant biofilm on the surface of orthopedic implants, according to a new study. Researchers at the Shanghai Institute of Ceramics (CIS; China) extrapolated that since gold nanoparticles can pass electrons to titanium dioxide (TiO2), they could be used... Read more

Women's Health

view channel
Image: A prototype contraceptive implant (Photo courtesy of MicroCHIPS).

Contraceptive Implant Hails New Era of Birth Control

A fingernail-sized implant holds enough 30-microgram daily doses of levonorgestrel to provide contraception for 16 years. Developed by MicroCHIPS (Lexington, MA, USA), a MIT (Cambridge, MA, USA) startup,... Read more

Health IT

view channel
Image: The Health eResearch Center UV2 supercomputer (Photo courtesy of HeRC).

Supercomputer Accelerates Pace of Health Research

The University of Manchester (United Kingdom) is financing a new supercomputer system that can analyze bigger and more complex sets of information. The Health eResearch Center (HeRC; Manchester, United... Read more

Business

view channel

Spectranetics Completes Acquisition of AngioScore

Spectranetics (Colorado Springs, CO, USA) has completed the acquisition of AngioScore (Fremont, CA, USA), a leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of cardiovascular specialty balloons. The transaction, for USD 230 million in cash and contingent commercial and regulatory milestone payments, will combine differentiated,... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.