Kinect to Improved Respiratory Assessments

Here's another unique Kinect project that's' a breath of fresh air... (Sorry, had to... )

Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect breathes new life into respiratory assessment

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Xbox Kinects could be used in the future to assess the health of patients with conditions such as cystic fibrosis.

Normally found in the hands of gamers rather than medics the Microsoft sensors could be used to assess the respiratory function of patients.

Researchers at the Institute of Digital Healthcare, WMG, University of Warwick and the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, University of Birmingham and Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) have developed a method of using the devices. The system consists of four Kinect sensors which are capable of quickly creating a 3D image of a patient’s torso. This enables physicians to measure and assess how a chest wall moves.

In tests it has proven to be as accurate as a patient breathing into a spirometer - the current method used - but providing additional information about the movement of the chest, which could help in identifying numerous respiratory problems.

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Dr Golby said: “For patients who report to A&E a quick and low-cost method of chest wall motion assessment is required. There are some conditions that doctors can’t detect or assess using spirometry such as collapsed lung segments or respiratory muscle weakness. However our prototype allows physicians to make accurate assessments.

“It is also potentially very useful in assessing changes in respiratory physiology that occur during exercise. This is in contrast with existing systems which rely on data from one viewpoint.”

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The academics trialled their prototype initially using a resuscitation mannequin, then on healthy volunteers and adults with cystic fibrosis. As the Kinect has an infrared beam it allowed them to measure changes in distances across the chest wall. The system uses four sensors which allow measurement of movement from more than one viewpoint. Using off-the-shelf and bespoke software they were able to create a 3D image of a patient’s chest wall.

The University of Warwick team are now planning to develop their prototype further using Microsoft’s new version of the Kinect, working with cystic fibrosis and other respiratory conditions.

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Project Information URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/news/microsoft146s_xbox_kinect/




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