Imagine that your work clothes have sewn-in sensors. These sensors measure your movements and stream the measurement data to a cloud service. In the cloud, there’s an AI that looks at all the data and then visualizes the data for you so you understand which movements are harmful and which aren’t. We call this whole system Zentnl. There are of course several implications as well as huge potential in our product Zentnl, but let’s look at two questions:
- How to position the sensors to get good measurement data?
- How do we know which movements are harmful?
These were two of the many issues that our Head of Research Thomas Wingate encountered early in development. While investigating these questions he found research from the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine South (AMM Syd) at Lund University. AMM Syd has been looking for 25 years at epidemiological links between movement patterns and injuries. Among other things, they have developed a number of action levels for angles and angular velocities for different joints in the body. The action levels indicate which angles and angular velocities are considered harmful. AMM Syd also has extensive knowledge of how measurements should be made to get good data. It became clear that AMM Syd was able to provide us with answers to many of our questions and could become our partner in the clinical validation of our technology.
“With Zentnl, we want to reliably measure how a person’s skeleton moves using sensors in clothing on the outside of the body. The goal of our technology is to measure ergonomic risk factors reliably.”Thomas Wingate, Head of Research
Thomas contacted AMM Syd in April 2018. In June, WAVR and AMM Syd met for the first time. Henrik Enquist and some colleagues were at the meeting. Since then, the dialogue between WAVR, AMM Syd and Henrik Enquist has continued.
AMM Syd investigates and analyses suspected occupational health and safety issues, or environmental ill-health, and conducts research on the subject. The knowledge from their research is used to identify health risks in the working environment and aims to eliminate these risks in order to prevent employee ill health. They are located at the Department of Laboratory Medicine, which is part of the Faculty of Medicine at Lund University. They work in the Southern Healthcare Region, which consists of Region Blekinge, the southern part of Region Halland, Region Kronoberg and Region Skåne.
Henrik Enquist works as a medical engineer at AMM Syd with a focus on developing technical and objective measurement methods to quantify ergonomic load. Within his team there are also physiotherapists, doctors and biomedical analysts. They work both clinically with patient cases and workplace surveys, as well as with research – often in international collaborations.
“One of our main goals is to work preventively, among other things, by spreading this type of measurement methods to occupational health care, safety representatives, supervisors and others working with health and safety issues. In order to make this possible, technology needs to be more user-friendly, robust and cheaper.”Henrik Enquist, AMM Syd
The dialogue with AMM Syd has led to cooperation because our technology can open new doors for Henrik Enquist’s research. A win-win cooperation.
“For us, it is of course of great value to have AMM Syd as a partner because it allows us to get clinical validation of our technology and give us reliable results when compared to existing technology. In practice, this means that we can validate that we measure the right things correctly to see how good our new technology is in relation to the old one.”Thomas Wingate, Head of Research
“The equipment for measuring wrist movements is both fragile, complicated to use, and very expensive. This means that it is difficult for us as researchers to collect larger amounts of data. In addition, other non-experts are discouraged from measuring. This is unfortunate, especially when the risks of hand-intensive work have been increasingly emphasized in the Swedish Work Environment Authority’s regulation on medical checks (AFS 2019:3). It has thus become necessary to examine whether there is hand-intensive work and the best way to do so is with technical/objective measurement methods.”Henrik Enquist, AMM Syd
AMM Syd and Henrik Enquist are incredibly valuable contacts for WAVR Tech in the development of our technology Zentnl. We are pleased that our dialogue has also led to a collaboration in which AMM Syd will participate in a pilot project with WAVR. We look forward to this project and further talks about Zentnl – for better public health.