A Xerox researcher has used Microsoft’s Kinect game sensor to measure how well a patient is breathing.
The inexpensive game device, which tracks 3D objects and motion in a room, could be used as an unobtrusive way of measuring the quality of a patient’s breathing and how much lung capacity they have over a period of time. As such, it could be used to lower the cost of healthcare and give physicians information that they can’t otherwise easily get.
Lalit Mestha (pictured), a fellow at the Xerox Research Center Webster in New York, said in an interview with VentureBeat that Kinect sensors can detect 3D shapes in a room, and that can be applied to detecting the rise and fall of someone’s chest. From that, Mestha said in a presentation at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center yesterday that air intake, or the air inhaled and exhaled during normal breathing. When calibrated with other information, the data can be used to calculate total lung capacity. And from that, physicians can learn more about whether a recovering patient is getting better or worse. If a patient is slowly being strangled by something, the Kinect system could be used to warn nurses about the emergency.
The Kinect’s video camera could also be applied to other measurements, such as heart rate. (And if a game developer makes use of that, they could conceivably create a game that speeds up or slows down based on the heart rate and breathing pattern of the player).
Mestha said that besides costing less than medical systems such as ventilators, the Kinect system could prevent unexpected hospital deaths. On top of that, the Kinect system can measure patients without requiring contact with the skin. That could be better for burn victims or infants.
GamesBeat 2013 is our fifth annual conference on disruption in the video game market. You'll get 360-degree perspectives from top gaming executives, developers, and analysts on what’s to come in the industry. Our theme this year is “The Battle Royal.” Check out full event details here, and grab your early-bird tickets here!