Mobile EMG Device
The Wireless Force Sensor
Strength is an important aspect of many rehabilitation assessments, and it is currently measured based on the strength of the clinician. For example, your physiotherapist may ask you to push back on their hand as they try and push your arm down. In this way, your physiotherapist can get an idea of your level of strength in comparison to their own, and can approximate the difference in strength between both your arms or how much your strength changes between appointments. As you may have guessed, this means that strength assessments are really subjective; that is, they can change completely depending on the clinician.
This creates an additional barrier for conducting Tele-Rehab assessments. Using the current method, the specialist in the hub location has no way to actually know what the strength of the patient is, and has to work off of what the generalist can communicate to them.
We developed the mobile EMG sensor to help deal with this issue! This sensor is a wireless, portable device to help clinicians measure force. EMG devices record the electrical energy your muscles make when they move. Our EMG device paired with a program we have developed can convert this EMG data into a measurement of force. This means that our hub clinician will get an actual measure of the strength of the patient!
This technology has the potential to help in-person assessments as well. Removing clinician bias from assessments and diagnoses could help with accuracy and improve treatment plans.
We have a prototype of this wireless EMG technology that is portable and easy to use, but it is only utilizable for research purposes at this stage. We will be applying for additional funding in order to develop a commercially available sensor that can be used in clinic settings across Canada.