The impressive system is made possible thanks to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Kinect sensor.
Although it is very much in its early stages the system intends to detect and track asymmetries on either side of a patient’s face while he or she performs exercises. Real-time feedback will be provided on a monitor to give information through an avatar of the patient.
The device uses the Kinect in tandem with the projects own software, results of which are displayed via the screen.
Dr Philip Breedon, reader in smart technologies at the university’s school and the lead academic on the project said:
“It is hoped that improved rehabilitation will be achieved through two methods; firstly by the patient themselves getting real-time feedback on position and magnitude of asymmetries on the face, along with their changes over time, thus showing where to concentrate their efforts. Secondly, the therapist will get to see data produced whenever the patient exercises. This increased data should help improve diagnosis and planned recovery.
The National Institute for Health Research Invention and Innovation has funded the project for eighteen months and it’s set to begin in April. The ultimate goal is to create a device that can be mass-produced.