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Valedo Nackentherapie

Verbesserung der Bewegungstherapie für die zervikale Wirbelsäule durch computerisiertes Training, Feedback und Verlaufskontrolle

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Beschreibung

Neck pain is a serious burden for the health system and the affected individuals. An analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 lists it on the fourth rank - even before the "civilization disorders" migraine and diabetes. Because neck pain can have a wide variety of causes, individualized, personalized therapy is necessary. On the other hand, efficiency will be one of the key factors to keeping control of health care costs.


The project team will build upon the exisiting knowledge and experience of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW, School of Health Professions and School of Engineering) and Hocoma AG as well as clinical partners (Balgrist Universtiy Hospital, Kantonsspital Winterthur and Balgrist move>med). We will develop a computerized training system that allows patients to perform their neck pain exercises on their own while being supervised by motion tracking technology and being motivated and guided by therapeutic computer games. In addition, the system will be able to assess and quantify specific movement dysfunction and monitor improvements over time.


The key technological challenge is the tracking of the cervical spine with sensitivity to all six degrees of freedom – which is relevant for the exercises and assessments. Currently used precision motion tracking (e.g. Vicon Motion Systems) that provides this sensitivity is three orders of magnitude too expensive for use in clinics and current low cost technology (e.g. webcams, Kinect®, SteamVR®) is not built for this kind of tracking. We will identify the precision required for therapeutic use and identify, adapt and integrate the right technology.


The key clinical challenge is the identification of the right set of assessments and exercises to be implemented in the system and the development of a feasible and usable device.The close collaboration of the project partners from clinic, science and industry will allow efficient solution of these challenges.


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