MyoSense: Intelligent Athletic Tape
How does the device work?
MyoSense is a specialized therapeutic tape that can be applied around various joints in the body (ankles, knees, hips, lower back, shoulders and elbows). MyoSense is elastic and uses acrylic adhesive to maintain contact during athletic activity, but also uses low-power bioelectronics to measure muscle activity via electromyography (EMG). Thin electrodes are applied to the skin at various positions on the tape, and wire running just under the external cotton layer of the tape connects these electrodes to a central location. A small, battery-powered electronics device containing an electromyogram and wireless transmitter is then connected to the electrodes and velcroed onto the tape. By measuring electrical activity in the local muscle systems and sending this data to a nearby mobile device, MyoSense is able to identify habitual movements which may lead to injury and inform wearers that a severe injury(e.g., ACL tear) may have occurred, preventing further damage.
How will it impact healthcare?
MyoSense will revolutionize sports medicine and orthopedics because its low cost and ease-of-use will allow it to be used by a vast audience ranging from olympians to recreational athletes and physical therapy patients. While it may initially identify only a limited set of movements and injuries, the large amount of data collected can be used for a variety of purposes. Orthopedics researchers can analyze global datasets in order to better understand how the local muscle systems work together around different joints, while individual users can view their personal trends across years of activity. In between these two ends, physical therapists and athletic trainers can record and analyze data from patients and athletes to identify injury-inducing trends for different activities and sports. Thus, MyoSense will lead to a significant reduction in both acute and chronic injuries related to athletic activity.