In order to measure quantitatively the neuro-psychomotor conditions
of an individual with a view to subsequently detecting his/her
state of health, it is necessary to obtain a set of parameters
such as reaction time, speed, strength and tremor. By processing
these parameters through the use of fuzzy logic it is possible
to monitor an individual's state of health, .i.e. whether he/she
is healthy or affected by a particular pathology such as Parkinson's
disease, dementia, etc.
The set of
parameters obtained is useful not only to diagnose neuro-motor
pathologies (e.g. Parkinson Disease), but also to assess general
everyday health or to monitor sports performance; moreover, continuous
use of the device by an individual for health-monitoring purposes,
not only allows for detection of the onset of a particular pathology
but also provides greater awareness in terms of how life style
or certain habits tend to have repercussions on psycho-physical
well-being. Since an individual's state of health should be continually
monitored, it is essential that he or she can manage the test
autonomously without his/her emotional state being influenced:
autonomous testing is important, as the individual is likely to
be more relaxed thus obviating emotional problems. The new system
has been designed with reference to the biomechanical characteristics
of the human finger.
(DDX) is a new bio robotic device that is a fuzzy based control
system for the detection of neuro-motional and psychophysical
health conditions. The initial experimental system (DD1) and the
current system (DD2) are not easily portable and, even if they
are very reliable, cannot estimate the patient health beyond the
typical parameters of Parkinson's disease nor are they able to
remotely transmit such diagnoses.
This new bio-robotic
system is exploited in order to obtain an intelligent and reliable
detector supported by a very small and portable device, with a
simple joystick with few buttons, a liquid-display (LCD), and
a simple interface for remote communication of diagnosis. It may
be adopted for earth and space applications, because of its portability,
in order to measure all the reactions in front of external effects.
The DDX control system consists of a small board with an internal
fuzzy microcontroller that acquires, through the action on a button
on the joystick, some important parameters: reaction time, motion
speed, force of the finger on the button, and tremor and analyses
them by fuzzy rules in order to detect the patient's disease class.
Moreover this new device also includes a system to detect vocal
reaction. The resulting output can be visualized through a display
or transmitted by a communication interface.
speed, force, and tremor are parameters that are used to obtain
a quantitative instrumental determination of a patient's neuro-psychophysical
health. These parameters have been used in the study of the progression
of Parkinson's disease, a particularly degenerative neural process,
but these parameters can also be useful in detecting the wellness
of a healthy person.
As a matter of fact, these measurements turn
out to be an excellent method of finding reactive parameters alteration
due not only to a pathology, but also, for example, to the use
of drugs, alcohol, drugs used in the treatment of mental conditions,
or other substances that could affect a person's reactive and
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