Smart Knee

Tyndall smart knee collaboration gets EU seal of approval

Thomas Healy and John Barton, Tyndall National Institute

19 December 2016

A ‘smart knee’ device developed by scientists at Tyndall National Institute and German-Serbian software SME, Nissatech Innovation Center is being trialled in a Budapest Hospital, and could be on the market in two years if clinicians and patients alike enjoy the recouperative benefits predicted by the scientists and their research in this area.

“Typically after knee surgeries, patients need to undergo a rehabilitation process to strengthen muscles and regain their mobility. Much of the post op exercises are expected to take place at home where they cannot be observed by medical staff,” said principal investigator for the gateone project at Tyndall Thomas Healy.

“The smart knee system remotely monitors the patient’s progress, through a knee movement sensor developed at Tyndall National Institute, and based on the progress the patient makes, the rehabilitation programme can be adapted and personalised to the patient. The sensor and the data provided to the physician is invaluable in the recovery process, which is the real value of the smart knee.”

The smart knee is just one of many innovations that is being shared with the international SME community through the gateone project. Encouraging SMEs to take advantage of the world-class technologies, the EU-funded project is sharing a concept portfolio with SMEs across Europe and providing funding to help bridge the gap from research and development to market-ready products.

Tyndall selected four of its key technology platforms to be part of the gateone portfolio, including wearable technologies, micro-needle-based transdermal delivery systems, energy management systems and electrochemical sensors.

The smart knee is the first Tyndall demonstrator through gateone to be provided to an SME for real environment trials and leverages work developed by Tyndall researcher Salvatore Tedesco in Connect, the Science Foundation Ireland research centre for future networks and communications.

Nenad Stojanovic, Nissatech CEO, said: “We were looking for a wearable technology that could be integrated with our software and allow us to measure specific parameters of knee movement. In addition to those critical clinical measurements, the size, weight and battery life were important criteria and the Tyndall sensor ticked all the boxes for us.

“This technology will enable us to easily create small but very illustrative prototypes which can demonstrate how our sensor-signal processing software can be used in different scenarios for monitoring human movement. The sensor technology can be physically placed on various body parts, opening plenty of possibilities for new monitoring scenarios.”
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