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Michael Truppe
04-02-1992, 04:06 AM
Dear Sirs,

I want to subscribe to the Electronic Mail Discussion Forum for Biomechanics
and Movement Science. At the moment I am still waiting for my direct INTERNET
address. Please send all the messages to

73517.2423@compuserve.com

We are developing an innovative system for real-time motion analysis. Enclosed
is a short description of our EUREKA project.

EUREKA PROJECT EU 662
ARTMA (Advanced Real Time Motion Analysis)

ADVANCED SENSORS FOR ADVANCED DIAGNOSIS

In several areas of medicine, such as orthopaedics and rehabilitation, but
also maxillofacial and plastic surgery, it is often important for the
physician to acquire exact information on the location and movements of bones
and other parts of the human body. For example, in the case of a knee injury
it is important for the physician to find out whether it consists of a lesion
of the cross ligaments. Because of muscular compensation, such a lesion can go
unnoticed. But by recording knee movements over a long time, the physician can
determine the nature of the lesion - and treat it properly.

Most systems for the study of motion now available to the physician rely on
mechanical recording devices or on post processing of stereophotometric data
of various imaging systems. To get a complete picture, the physician has to
analyze separately images from different imaging devices, including video
recordings, x-ray images, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic-resonance
imaging (MRI). None of the current systems are capable of displaying motion
in real time, and require computer processing after completion of the
recording of data.

EUREKA Project EU 662, ARTMA, developed by Artma medizintechnik GmbH in
Vienna, is taking motion analysis a step further. By integrating various
imaging systems with information from sensors attached to the body, the
project will equip hospitals around Europe with better diagnostic abilities.

Exact coordinates in three dimensions

"Our approach is completely different to current methods," explains Dr.
Michael Truppe from Artma Medizintechnik. "We do use video images - but only
for visualization, not for data acquisition. We get 3-dimensional data from a
network of sensors attached to the body parts we are interested in, and then
combine this with other types of images and video recordings using specially
developed software. Because no post processing is required, we have the first
and only real-time display of motion."

The sensors are either used to pinpoint certain points on the body to record
their location, or can be attached to a part of the body to study motion in
detail. Usually four sensors are connected to the computer, and work by
recording changes in magnetic reference fields caused by motion. However,
several other methods for creating 3D data are available. One of them, a
sonic digitizer, uses three or more microphones to locate the position of
tiny "sparkers" that emit sound.

As the body moves, the sensors supply data on their position to a
three-dimensional digitizer, which converts the signals into data usable by
the computer program. This software calculates, in real time, the coordinates
of the sensors in relationship to a reference point, which can be attached to
the body.

These data are then integrated with images obtained by photography, x-ray
radiography and, in some cases, CT scans. The images are scanned and stored in
the computer, or are retrieved from the computerised data-storage systems used
in the hospital. By combining 3D data with existing video recordings or
scanned images, the physician can avoid subjecting the patient to prolonged
x-rays and tests.

The locations of the sensors are then superimposed on a video recording.
Alternatively, the computer can display a stick figure in which the position
of the actual bone structure is displayed rather than the position of the
sensors. By updating the coordinates sixty times per second, ARTMA allows
the study of motion in real time. For example, by attaching sensors to the
shoulder, elbow, wrist and palm of a patient with an arm injury, and recording
the motions of the arm, such as wrist flexions and rotations, at regular
intervals, a physician can monitor progress in such a patient undergoing
physiotherapy.

Better Diagnosis Through Synergy

Because of the high level of accuracy of the coordinates supplied by the 3D
digitizer, the system allows a more precise study of motion and diagnosis. "In
itself this is a new type of information available to the physician, with new
diagnostic value," says Dr. Truppe. An important aspect of the system is that
it operates on a second level by enhancing existing information. One type of
information gives us a certain amount of diagnostic help. When there are
several different types of information available, then their combination can
supply new diagnostic information, not available from any of the information
types singly."

Kind Regards,
Michael Truppe


Michael Truppe, M.D.
ARTMA Medizintechnik GmbH
Adolfstorgasse 7
A-1130 Wien
Austria

Tel. +43 1 8778558
Fax +43 1 877855816
Internet: 73517.2423@compuserve.com (until further notice)


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