BPMphysio wearable device helps track limb movement
By Stu Robarts
May 22, 2014
Physiotherapists have traditionally used fairly rudimentary manual goniometers (medical protractors) to measure the movement of body parts. BPMphysio is a wearable device that uses a variety of sensors to measure movement accurately. It is aimed at helping to improve physio care.
BPMphysio was exhibited at last week's Medtec UK show, having been launched by BPMpro in October last year after two years of development. It uses accelerometer, magnetometer and air pressure sensors to detect movement. The device also features Bluetooth connectivity to relay data to its accompanying computer software.
By using the device to accurately measure patient movement and using its software to record the data, clinicians can both be more certain of a patient's movement capability and better visualize the data collected, including feedback from 20 key joint motion tests. Data can be manipulated on-screen and viewed against historical records.
The BPMphysio is worn strapped to a limb to be examined, much like a fitness tracker. As the limb moves, the sensor transmits the data collected to a PC or tablet running the BPMphysio software. This software records the motion and displays it on-screen in chart and table form, as well as on a moving avatar.
BPMphysio was created to help both the physio and the patient better understand the capability of the patient's limb movement and any change over time. With this is mind, the software has been designed with patients in mind.
"The user interface is designed to be patient-centric," explains Martin Gossling, CEO at 270 Vision, the parent company of BPMpro, to Gizmag. "This means the patient can clearly see how well or not they are recovering without having to understand the physio terminology. They can also see clearly their progress over time."
"Clinicians get access to digital body measurement in a very cost effective package," continues Gossling. "The software also enables them to focus on the patient rather than having to worry about writing down results or even running software, as it is triggered by the sensors."
In addition to tracking the movement of a limb, BPMphysio can automatically average the outcomes of any number of tests in a cycle, store pain-points and take into account a limb's active and passive range of motion. Data can also be fed to the software over the web, allowing for remote patient monitoring.
Upcoming developments will include a free-form measurement module for 3D analysis and visualization of complex joints such as the shoulder., which will be released in June. A gait analysis module is also due to be released in September.
BPMphysio is currently available in Europe, the Middle East and Australia, with a view to moving into the US shortly. The standard version is priced at £700 (about US$1,200).
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