Disease detection and quantification with inertial sensors

Research Opportunity
PhD
Number of Honour Places Available
1
Department
Medical Bionics Department
Location
Bionics Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Thushara Perera TPERERA@bionicsinstitute.org

Summary People with movement disorders (e.g. Parkinson’s disease and dystonia) find it challenging to perform activities of daily living (such as getting dressed, eating, and drinking) that most take for granted. Fine motor skills are stifled by tremors, movement becomes strenuous due to increased muscle stiffness, and postural instability leads to falls. Evaluating these symptoms is crucial to managing therapy, seeking new interventions via clinical trials and understanding mechanism of disease through research. Existing assessment techniques rely on subjective methods such as surveys, patient diaries, and observation-based rating scales. This project will develop a medical device that allows us to overcome several limitations associated with subjective techniques.

Project Details

People with movement disorders (e.g. Parkinson’s disease and dystonia) find it challenging to perform activities of daily living (such as getting dressed, eating, and drinking) that most take for granted. Fine motor skills are stifled by tremors, movement becomes strenuous due to increased muscle stiffness, and postural instability leads to falls. Evaluating these symptoms is crucial to managing therapy, seeking new interventions via clinical trials and understanding mechanism of disease through research. Existing assessment techniques rely on subjective methods such as surveys, patient diaries, and observation-based rating scales. This project will develop a medical device that allows us to overcome several limitations associated with subjective techniques: 1) inter- and intra-rater variability, 2) bias, 3) floor and ceiling effects, 4) limited resolution on ordinal scales, and 5) intermittent measurements at single time points. The student will design and manufacture prototype wearable devices, perform benchtop evaluation, and assist with clinical trials.

General methods to be used in the project:
Digital signal processing, rapid prototyping (3D printing, PCB layout and manufacture, etc.), software/firmware development, test and verification, human clinical trials, data science.

Suitable background of students:
This PhD project would ideally suit an electronics or biomedical engineer with an interest in medical device development. Previous experience with hardware design, software/firmware development, and rapid prototyping will be highly regarded. Strong communication skills are crucial as well as a willingness to work in a multidisciplinary team in a flexible environment.



Faculty Research Themes

Neuroscience



Research Opportunities

PhD
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department

Medical Bionics Department

Research Node

Bionics Institute

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