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An Instrumented Medical Hammer With Diagnostic, Therapeutic and Pedagogical Applications

[+] Author Affiliations
Waiman Meinhold, Evan Kaplan, Jun Ueda

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Takayuki Mori, Shin-ichi Izumi

Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan

Paper No. DSCC2017-5145, pp. V001T38A001; 6 pages
  • ASME 2017 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference
  • Volume 1: Aerospace Applications; Advances in Control Design Methods; Bio Engineering Applications; Advances in Non-Linear Control; Adaptive and Intelligent Systems Control; Advances in Wind Energy Systems; Advances in Robotics; Assistive and Rehabilitation Robotics; Biomedical and Neural Systems Modeling, Diagnostics, and Control; Bio-Mechatronics and Physical Human Robot; Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and Autonomous Vehicles; Automotive Systems
  • Tysons, Virginia, USA, October 11–13, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5827-1
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


Medical hammers are a commonly used medical device with both diagnostic and therapeutic uses. Tendon tapping to elicit the T-Reflex is a widely used medical procedure that serves as a high level diagnostic tool for many neurological disorders. Previous work has also suggested the utility of the technique for therapeutic purposes. This work discusses the development and initial testing of an instrumented networked medical hammer. An accompanying scheme for wireless data collection and real-time clinical feedback is proposed and partially implemented. The work represents an important improvement to previous efforts in quantification of tendon reflex responses. Not only is intensity of the full impact measured, a method for determining the location of hammer impact is also presented. Stimulus location classification is done via Support Vector Machine (SVM). Variability between and within clinician tapping methods is confirmed, along with validation of SVM for differentiating between clinicians. The automated determination of impact location provides a foundation for work in both rehabilitation and clinical diagnostics.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Topics: Hammers , Biomedicine



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