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Professor Joan Condell from the School of Computing, Engineering, and Intelligent Systems (SCEIS) has been collaborating with the Western Health and Social Trust (WHSCT) to test accuracy and reliability of sensors in measuring spinal movement.  The main outcome is a tool for spinal mobility. Current measures rely on tape measures and goniometers; and are not reliable or responsive enough to evaluate new treatments.

The European multi-centre project team has just published their third journal paper (Diagnostics Journal: Point-of-Care Diagnostics and Devices), having completed 3 validation studies to test the responsiveness of a spinal mobility index alongside MRI pre and post biologics. Professor Condell led the development of the smartphone app which allowed the researchers to use the electronic spinal mobility tools. Studies were carried out in Londonderry (WHSCT), Dublin and Cordoba in Spain.

Professor Condell said

“This study sought to respond to the research question: Can inertial movement sensors (IMUs) provide a valid and reliable way of measuring Spinal Mobility in Axial Spondylo-arthritis (axSpa)? We completed a clinimetric evaluation of sensors for measurement of spinal mobility. In particular the Ulster team focused on the app development, alongside patients, and completed analytics of the wearable sensor data“

For more information, please visit the FOREUM website: FOREUM – IMUAxSPa