When helping in the rehabilitation of stroke and head trauma patients, physical therapists often find a need to measure the patient’s control of the muscles in their torso. This is called trunk control. Currently, there are two options for the measurement of trunk control. The first is qualitative analysis by the physical therapist, and the second is large, expensive equipment that measures the patient’s balance. The goal of this project was to create a low cost, quantitative means of measuring trunk control. The device used accelerometers placed on the back of the patient’s neck to measure the angle of the patient’s torso from vertical, as compared to acceleration due to gravity, in both left to right and forward to backward directions. The data taken from the accelerometers is stored on a micro-SD card, which is then inserted into a personal computer and analyzed using software built in the lab. The software produces a graphical representation of the data and displays useful calculations. During the course of the project, careful consideration had to be taken to stay within the bounds of professional ethics from a biomedical point of view. This included restricting the testing of the device and taking patient safety as a primary consideration during the entirety of the design process. Future iterations of the device will include technical and aesthetic improvements based on feedback from a group of physical therapy students who are currently testing the quality of the device’s measurements as well as its integration into a clinical setting. Additionally, a group of business students are constructing a business plan for the marketing and sales of this product.

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