Microsoft's Xbox Kinect Breathes New Life into Respiratory Assessment

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

The project lead, Dr Chris Golby at the Institute of Digital Healthcare, said: "We have developed a low-cost prototype which provides a more comprehensive measurement of a patient's breathing then existing methods."

Their work is detailed in their paper Chest wall motion analysis in healthy volunteers and adults with cystic fibrosis using a novel Kinect-based motion tracking system which is published in Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing.

Spirometry is the technique most commonly used treat to lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways. It requires a patient to take the deepest breath they can, and then exhale into the sensor as hard as possible, for as long as possible. However it has significant limitations as it doesn't allow doctors to assess how different areas of each lung function. It can result in inaccurate readings of some patients' breathing such as older people and children, and those with facial abnormalities or muscle weakness are often unable to form a tight seal around the mouthpiece.

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."

Babu Naidu, Chief Investigator, Thoracic Surgeon at HEFT and clinical scientist at the University Birmingham said: "A 'game changer' in screening, diagnostics, monitoring therapy and providing bio feedback the Xbox can be used in any condition affecting breathing."

Respiratory diseases kill one in five people in the UK and cost the NHS more than £6billion a year. However the proposed system consists of software and four Kinect sensors each of which cost just £100.

Professor Theo Arvanitis, Head of Research at Institute of Digital Healthcare, WMG, said: "With this and other technologies developed here we hope to innovate in e-healthcare and translate these advances into clinical practice."

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.

James M. Harte, Institute of Digital Healthcare, WMG, University of Warwick, UK, Interacoustics Research Unit, c/o Technical University of Denmark; Christopher K. Golby, Institute of Digital Healthcare, WMG, University of Warwick, UK; Johanna Acosta, Institute of Digital Healthcare, WMG, University of Warwick, UK; Edward F Nash, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, UK; Ercihan Kiraci, WMG, University of Warwick, UK; Mark A. Williams, WMG, University of Warwick, UK; Theodoros N Arvanitis, Institute of Digital Healthcare, WMG, University of Warwick, UK; Interacoustics Research Unit, c/o Technical University of Denmark; Babu Naidu, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, UK; University of Birmingham, UK.

DOI: 10.11007/s11517-015-1433-1

Most Popular Now

Open Call SC1-DTH-12-2020: Use of Real-W…

The number of people with chronic illness is growing and almost half of them have multiple chronic conditions. Patients with complex chronic conditions (CCCs) have chronic multi-morbidities or chronic disease...

China to Take on Leading Role in Medical…

Asia, in particular China, has been advancing significantly on its way to a key role in geopolitics, says correspondent Frank Sieren - and towards spearheading developments in medical technologies. At...

Doctors Give Electronic Health Records a…

The transition to electronic health records (EHRs) was supposed to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare for doctors and patients alike - but these technologies get an "F" rating...

Artificial Intelligence Algorithm can Le…

Artificial Intelligence can be used to predict molecular wave functions and the electronic properties of molecules. This innovative AI method developed by a team of researchers at the University of...

Preventive Health Care Via App

Demand for apps for preventive health care is growing all the time. Particularly popular are diagnostic assistants that record physiological and fitness data. However, there are data protection concerns with...

Bittium Exhibits its Innovative High-Tec…

Bittium exhibits its innovative products and solutions for cardiology and neurology at Medica 2019, the leading international trade fair for the medical sector, on November 18 - 21 in Dusseldorf...

Artificial Intelligence-Based Algorithm …

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a significant global cause of mortality and morbidity with an increasing incidence, especially in low-and-middle income countries. The most severe TBIs are treated in intensive...

MEDICA 2019 + COMPAMED 2019 Due to Launc…

18 - 21 November 2019, Düsseldorf, Germany. From Monday until Thursday, the entire medical world and health care sector will once again meet in Düsseldorf. With a record participation of a...

A Mobile App for Managing Mobile Medical…

Beginning of March 2019, Merci Charity Boutique association based in Bucharest, Romania started testing the "Mobile app for mobile medical units and cabinets", which helps the mobile dental practice to...

#FH2019 - The Leading International Conf…

13 - 15 November 2019, Berlin, Germany. This year the German capital will host again the main conference dedicated to Digital Health: Frontiers Health 2019, which will be held from the...

MEDICA and COMPAMED Hold their Own in a …

18 - 21 November 2019, Düsseldorf, Germany. The demand market for medical technology and medical products is becoming increasingly challenging and discriminating worldwide. Providers are adapting to this on a flexible...

GE Healthcare Expands Intelligent Health…

GE Healthcare launched the Edison Developer Program to accelerate the adoption and impact of intelligent applications and developer services across health systems. The program is based on Edison, GE Healthcare's...