Many people suffer with pelvic pain and pelvic floor dysfunction mainly caused by aging, surgical procedures and accidents. The pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles that attach to the front, back and sides of the pelvic bone and sacrum. They are like a hammock or a sling, and they support the bladder, uterus, prostate and rectum. They also wrap around your urethra, rectum, and vagina (in women). These muscles must be able to contract to maintain continence and relax to allow for urination, bowel movements, and in women, sexual intercourse.
Physiotherapists with specialized training in pelvic floor rehabilitation uses internal examination to teach the exercises to improve pelvic muscles, but evaluate the patient progression is a difficult task. During the exercises, the patient must introduce a cylindrical part inside the anus or vagina, inflates a small balloon and perform the contractions according with it's rehabilitation plan. Measure the pressure done by those exercises allow the physiotherapist to verify the progression.
This project intent to build a small device, connected to the exercise apparatus and measure the pressure done during the work. The pressure is measured using the TE Connectivity 5525DSO sensor and transmitted to MAX32630FTHR board trough I²C bus and stored in microSD card. The stored data can be acquired by the physiotherapist direct from the microSD card or via bluetooth connection. The bluetooth connection also allows the data being transmitted real time to a computer during the exercise execution.
List all the parts required for your project.
Shared link to Pelvic Sensor Device Scheme-it below:
The Pelvic Sensor Device is composed by a pressure sensor, MAX32630FTHR board, 3.7Vdc rechargeable Li-Ion battery cell, microSD card and an ON/OFF pushbutton. The battery is charged by the USB port and should provide energy to the hole system.
Attached to the sensor device there is a rubber blood pressure pump bulb connected to a mechanical part that interfaces the sensor element, the pump and a small latex hose to deliver pressure to a cylindrical part. The cylindrical part has a disposable balloon, and is introduced in the patient during the exercises execution.
The patient introduces the cylinder and press the power button turning the device On. The MAX32630FTHR board user led stays on during the initialization then starts to blink when device is ready. The patient then inflates the balloon according to the physiotherapist instructions and starts the exercises. The data is periodically read via I²C bus and stored in the microSD card. After finish the exercises series the patient press the power button again and the device separates the stored data in a exercise data packet.
The exercises results can be obtained taking the microSD card, trough USB port and also transmitted via bluetooth. The bluetooth connection also allows the physiotherapist to check the measures real-time while the patient perform the exercises during a appointment.
Here's a video of Urostym®, from LABORIE company, a very advanced pelvic floor rehabilitation system used by doctors for diagnosis and evaluations:
The idea of the Pelvic Sensor Device project is a complementary system to equipments like Urostym®, to gather data from the patients exercises and improve clinical analysis.
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