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A device that measures the walking distance or movement amount of a Parkinson’s disease patient has been developed by using the nature of the reflection of radio waves when they hit a person’s body. This device, which does not require a separate attachment, can detect movement in the room just by installing it in the house like a ‘WiFi router’. It is expected to be helpful in patient management as it can easily check how advanced the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as tremors or slow movement when walking, have progressed.
According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States on the 26th, a research team led by Professor Ying Cheng Liu of the Department of Electrical Engineering has developed a ‘smart gait tracker’ that measures the movement of a Parkinson’s disease patient while they move at home. time) was announced.
The research team paid attention to the nature of the reflection of radio waves hitting the human body to measure the gait or movement speed of Parkinson’s patients when they usually stay at home. If radio waves are continuously emitted inside the space where the patient is staying, they are reflected at different angles depending on the movement of the person.
The ‘Smart Walk Tracker’ developed by the research team can be installed indoors like a Wi-Fi router to detect the movement of radio waves hitting a person’s body in real time. According to the research team, the amount of radio waves emitted by this device is one-thousandth that of a home WiFi machine. The movement of a person in a normal-sized home can be detected regardless of the presence of walls or obstacles.
To check whether the gait tracker actually detects changes in gait or gait speed, the research team used the device for one year in 34 people with Parkinson’s disease and 16 healthy people.
As a result, the gait tracker succeeded in collecting more than 200,000 gait data that can confirm the progression grade of Parkinson’s disease. It was checked whether the patient’s movement speed slowed down or how much tremors occurred during the movement process. It also detected how agile movements were compared to before administration when the drug for treating Parkinson’s disease was administered.
The research team said, “During the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19, Corona 19), the expansion of social distancing measures made it difficult for patients to visit hospitals. It will help with management.”