Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts General Hospital presented a physical rehabilitation system for MuscleRehab, which tracks movements, visualizes muscles and helps the patient recover without the help of a physiotherapist.
The system is based on a sensory plate for an electroimpedanic tomography. It measures and visualizes what muscles do during each motion. The sensory plate is fixed by two straps with electrodes that are placed on the top of the user ' s thigh to capture three-dimensional data.
The motion capture uses 39 markers and a number of cameras that take images with a large number of frames per second. Sensors data show active muscles that can be seen on the display: the more the muscle is involved in the process, the darker the image of the muscle.
Patients wear a smooth, fully black ninja-style sports suit, and then perform various exercises, such as falls, knee bends, iron pull, foot lifts, knee protruding, and the system measures the activity of the quadruple muscle, the tailoring muscle and the sub-bone tendons, while the VR system captures 3D data on the movement of the whole body.
The data collected during the experiments were passed on to a professional therapist who explained which muscle groups should be involved during each exercise. His recommendations were embedded in the system, so not only does the user see how the muscles work, but they also get clues if something is done wrong.
The study showed that visualization of muscle activity and movement during exercise increases the correctness of work by 15 per cent, and scientists note that as the population ages, the need for physiotherapists increases, and that there is a lack of expertise for all people whose quality of life can be improved.
The MuscleRehab is currently focusing on the upper thigh and major groups of leg muscles, but in the future scientists are planning to connect the buttocks and other muscle groups, and scientists are also looking for the use of electroimpedans tomography in radiation therapy.