Thursday, February 24, 2011

Using the Kinect to Track Involuntary Movement for Psychiatric Testing

This past weekend I participated in the Health 2.0 Boston hack-a-thon. I worked with a group that included statisticians and a psychiatrist. We used skeleton tracking with the Kinect to automate a test for involuntary motion that psychiatrists use to track the condition of patients with neuromuscular disorders (frequently caused as a side effect of psychiatric drugs).

The app tracks the linear motion in 3-dimensions of the hands and knees of a patient who's instructed to sit completely still. The total amount of motion is compared against a pre-set quantity to determine red, yellow, or green score. The scale was calibrated in advance by the psychiatrist demonstrating normal and abnormal amounts of motion.

Obviously this is a one-day prototype, but the psychiatrist was excited enough about it that he wants to get it approved for use in his clinic after a few iterations.

My team ended up winning the event and will be continuing to develop the app and presenting it in San Diego at the national Health 2.0 conference where there's some kind of big prize if we win.

Here's my full blog post about the event.

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