Bath Institute of Medical Engineering

Bath, United Kingdom

Bath Institute of Medical Engineering

Bath, United Kingdom
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Sparke A.,South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust | Torlei K.,Royal College of Art | Voss S.,University of the West of England | Page M.,South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust | And 8 more authors.
Emergency Medicine Journal | Year: 2015

Introduction: The early application of a semirigid disposable cervical collar following trauma is considered a routine practice. The aim of these devices is to immobilise the cervical spine and minimise the risk of additional neurological damage. However, these collars provide only partial immobilisation, are uncomfortable and are associated with a number of complications. Our team designed and tested a novel cervical immobilisation device that aims to improve immobilisation with reduced complications: the 'Necksafe'. Methods: Human volunteers were recruited and consented to test the novel Necksafe device in comparison with a conventional collar (the AMBU Perfit ACE) in a range of evaluations. These included assessments of the cervical range of movement (CROM) that occurred during scripted movements of the head and neck, and the effect of the new and conventional devices on jugular vein dimensions, assessed using ultrasound scanning. Results: CROM analysis showed that, under standardised testing conditions, the Necksafe device offers cervical immobilisation that is at least equivalent to a conventional collar, and is superior in the planes of extension, lateral flexion and rotation. Ultrasound examination of the jugular veins was inconclusive and did not reveal any differences in jugular venous diameter or flow. Qualitative feedback from ambulance paramedics was highly supportive of the new design, suggesting that it is more comfortable, easier to fit, less confining and better tolerated than a conventional collar, with improved immobilisation effectiveness. Conclusions: The results of quantitative and qualitative testing are highly supportive of the new Necksafe design, with improved cervical immobilisation, comfort and access to the airway.

Cohen H.,Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital | Cohen H.,Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases | Cohen H.,University of Bath | McCabe C.,Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital | And 8 more authors.
European Journal of Pain (United Kingdom) | Year: 2013

Background: Unusual symptoms such as digit misidentification and neglect-like phenomena have been reported in complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), which we hypothesized could be explained by parietal lobe dysfunction. Methods: Twenty-two patients with chronic CRPS attending an in-patient rehabilitation programme underwent standard neurological examination followed by clinical assessment of parietal lobe function and detailed sensory testing. Results: Fifteen (68%) patients had evidence of parietal lobe dysfunction. Six (27%) subjects failed six or more test categories and demonstrated new clinical signs consistent with their parietal testing impairments, which were impacting significantly on activities of daily living. A higher incidence was noted in subjects with > 1 limb involvement, CRPS affecting the dominant side and in left-handed subjects. Eighteen patients (82%) had mechanical allodynia covering 3-57.5% of the body surface area. Allochiria (unilateral tactile stimulation perceived only in the analogous location on the opposite limb), sensory extinction (concurrent bilateral tactile stimulation perceived only in one limb), referred sensations (unilateral tactile stimulation perceived concurrently in another discrete body area) and dysynchiria (unilateral non-noxious tactile stimulation perceived bilaterally as noxious) were present in some patients. Greater extent of body surface allodynia was correlated with worse parietal function (Spearman's rho = -0.674, p = 0.001). Conclusion: In patients with chronic CRPS, detailed clinical examination may reveal parietal dysfunction, with severity relating to the extent of allodynia. © 2012 European Federation of International Association.

Yang M.,University of Ulster | Zheng H.,University of Ulster | Wang H.,University of Ulster | McClean S.,University of Ulster | And 2 more authors.
Health and Technology | Year: 2012

This paper aims to study the feasibility of using a smart mobile phone with an embedded accelerometer in gait pattern monitoring. The second motivation is to examine the impact of the accelerometer sampling frequency on gait analysis. A mobile phone and a standalone accelerometer sensor were simultaneously attached to subject's lower back to record walking patterns. The degree of agreement between gait features derived from two devices was assessed in terms of average error rate, normalised limits of agreement and intra-class correlation. Various agreement levels were observed for three temporal features, three root mean square features, five regularity features and two symmetry features. The downsampling data were used to examine the impact of sample intervals on the gait features. Eleven out of 13 features have normalised mean difference less than 0.1 when sample intervals were less than 50ms. To carry out a further evaluation, the features derived from the downsampling gait data were used to classify subjects with chronic pain and health subjects, and a classification accuracy of 90% was achieved. The results showed that it is feasible and reliable to assess and monitor gait patterns based on spatio-temporal gait features derived from smart mobile phones with an embedded accelerometer. © 2012 IUPESM and Springer-Verlag.

Oddy M.,Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust | Ramos S.D.S.,Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust | Harris N.,Bath Institute of Medical Engineering
Assistive Technology Research Series | Year: 2013

This paper reports the process of developing an assistive technology transitional living service for brain injury rehabilitation. The aim of the service is to take advantage of smart home technology to assess, rehabilitate and promote independence in individuals with acquired brain injury who wish to live on their own in the community. © 2013 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.

PubMed | Bath Institute of Medical Engineering, Designability Bath Institute of Medical Engineering and niversity of Bath
Type: | Journal: Dementia (London, England) | Year: 2015

To investigate the relative effectiveness of different prompts for people with dementia during multistep tasks in the home, to inform prompting technology design.Nine pairs of participants (one with dementia and a partner or relative) participated at home. The participants with mild to moderate dementia (5M/4F, aged 73-86 years) functioned at the Planned or Exploratory levels of the Pool Activity Level instrument. A touchscreen computer displayed different prompts during two set tasks: card-and-envelope and CD player. The trials were scored to establish the relative effectiveness of the prompts. Individual tasks were also explored.Text and audio prompts were each more effective than video or picture prompts for a card-and-envelope task, but this was not seen in a CD player task. The differences may be related to the type of actions within the tasks; the card-and-envelope actions were easier to convey verbally; the CD player actions lent themselves to visual prompts.Designers of technology-based prompts for people with dementia should consider that the effectiveness of different prompts is likely to be task dependent. Familiar, unambiguous language can increase the success of tailored prompts. There are significant practical challenges associated with choosing and deconstructing everyday tasks at home.

Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: European | Award Amount: 91.55K | Year: 2013

Awaiting Public Project Summary

Boyd H.C.,Bath Institute of Medical Engineering | Evans N.M.,Bath Institute of Medical Engineering | Carey-Smith B.E.,Bath Institute of Medical Engineering | Orpwood R.D.,Bath Institute of Medical Engineering
2011 5th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare and Workshops, PervasiveHealth 2011 | Year: 2011

This two-year project aims to investigate in detail how prompting can help to guide people with dementia through tasks independently in a domestic setting. Four formats of prompt (text, audio, video and picture) are being compared with each other during domestic user-testing visits, to establish the relative strengths and weaknesses of each format. The importance of providing overall task context at each step, and ways of manual or automatic forwarding to the next instruction, will also be explored. Early findings from user testing have shown that comparable text or audio prompts are more effective means of prompting than picture or video prompts, and that there is strong potential for people with dementia to be able to control the timing of the prompts to work through the task at their own pace. These findings will be combined and the prompts will be developed iteratively so that prototype pieces of prompting technology can be created to enable a person with dementia to successfully carry out a task independently. © 2011 ICST.

Dalton H.,Bath Institute of Medical Engineering | Evans N.,Bath Institute of Medical Engineering | Harris N.,Bath Institute of Medical Engineering | Adlam T.,Bath Institute of Medical Engineering
Assistive Technology Research Series | Year: 2013

This paper describes the bespoke referral service which works with both therapists and users to customise or design one-off equipment for disabled adults and children. The aim is to show how the Bath Institute of Medical Engineering (BIME) has chosen and developed evaluation tools to measure the impact of this referral service; how this impact was achieved, and the outcome for the individuals. To assess the referrals received by BIME, they are screened against criteria to identify if the referral is feasible. User's requirements are identified through an initial assessment to create a novel design that will be manufactured into a prototype and delivered. It was felt the impact of the referral service would be reflected more effectively if more information on the outcome of the novel design was collected; therefore the referral form needed to be revised. Previous referrals success has been collated using a simple outcome measure which reports that these novel designs have been 99% successful in solving the initial problem. This demonstrates the positive impact this area of work has on people with disabilities who experience difficulty with individual tasks. © 2013 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.

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