The potential of individualized rehabilitation to improve patient outcomes is undisputed but still only barely touched. Sensor devices, such as activity trackers utilizing latest technologies may deliver valuable data for patient specific post-treatment care. The focus of the latter is currently shifting towards preventive actions outside the care institute. Analysis of post-treatment activity data could lead to new patient outcome measures, as patient activity features might indicate the physical and mental state of the patient.
In order to analyze activity patterns during recovery from skeletal injuries, a wireless, long-term wearable device is required, capable of recording raw triaxial physiological acceleration data at minimal to no user interaction with no need of removing it from its initial position and without causing discomfort to the patient. The aim of the project was to develop and evaluate the feasibility of a prototype activity tracker for research purposes that can be used in (pre-)clinical studies in order to improve patient outcomes.
During the concept development phase, 2 major hurdles became apparent: (1) targeted technologies in combination with long lifetime- and small size requirements would currently inhibit a leap innovation in comparison to already available solutions; (2) despite some early phase developments, no reliable non-irritating long-term skin attachment technology was found available on the market. Due to these key obstacles the project was put on hold until new opportunities appear on the horizon.
Grimm B (Prof), The Human Motion Institute, Munich, Germany