The Kinect technology from Xbox has been utilized to oversee cystic fibrosis and other lung afflictions

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The scientific argument on the positive or negative effects of video games on the brain are inconclusive yet.
23 Mar 2016 – Forbes

However it proved that when it comes to identifying and overseeing certain illnesses, the potential is quite evident.

Researchers in the United Kingdom have rigged a gaming console to help assess patients with cystic fibrosis and other respiratory conditions.

Investigators at the University of Warwick, along with collaborators at the University of Birmingham and Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT), have developed a technique using four MicrosoftMSFT +0.66% Xbox Kinect devices to quickly create a 3D image of a patient’s torso and assess the respiratory function of cystic fibrosis patients. The technique is described in a study that appears in the journal Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing.

Originally introduced for the Xbox 360 in 2010 and then for Windows in 2012, the Kinect system combines a webcam-style camera with peripheral vision, depth sensor and multiarray microphone, which work together to track full-body movement and individual voices. Users can interact with their console or computer without a game controller, through gestures and spoken commands.

The researchers first tried their prototype using a resuscitation mannequin, then they used the technique to assess the lung function of nine volunteers with cystic fibrosis and 13 healthy subjects. The Kinect sensors were placed around the subjects, with a minimum distance of one meter, or 3.3 feet, away. The Kinect system’s sensor has an infrared beam, and with four of these sensors, researchers were able to measure lung movement across the chest wall from more than one viewpoint. Using both off-the-shelf and custom software, the team then created a 3D image of a patient’s chest wall.

In patients with cystic fibrosis, a genetic mutation causes mucus to build up in the lungs and other organs, leading to frequent lung infections and breathing difficulties. Clinicians use spirometry to help diagnose and monitor cystic fibrosis and other lung diseases, like including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Spirometry measures the amount of air that can be inhaled and exhaled as well as the speed or flow of breathing. The test helps identify functional abnormalities of the lungs but does not provide a specific disease diagnosis.

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