This february, at the Health 2.0 hackathon in Boston, I worked with a team of volunteers including a psychiatric resident and a number of masters of public health to build a prototype of a system to track hyperkinetic motion disorders. These are a class of neuromuscular disorders, frequently caused as a side effect of psychiatric drugs, where patients' bodies move involuntarily. They include tremors as well as more violent actions. They can range from uncomfortable to debilitating.
Here's a video of a patient with sydeham corea, an example of one of these debilitating disorders:
We used the skeleton data from the Kinect, accessed via OSCeleton, in order to automate an existing test associated with these disorders, the Ames Involuntary Motion Scale. In this test, patients are instructed to sit still in a fixed position with their hands between their knees and then the doctors evaluates the amount the move on a subjective scale. Our application measured the position of the hands and knees in three dimensions and then added up the amount of motion those points underwent over a ten second testing period. Here's an example of what the application looks like:
Our team won the hackday and were invited to travel to San Diego to compete in the national Health 2.0 hackday. We presented out application again there and won that competition as well.
We are currently working on plans for a scientific study to validate this measurement approach as well as exploring commercial options for developing the application. More information about our application and motion disorders in general is available here: motionassessment.com