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Rehabilitation products within reach at NeuroSIPE symposium 2013

A treadmill to allow patients to rehabilitate, a fast temperature sensor with large data storage, a new service for pharmaceutical clients and the ankle testing device Achilles. Four results that the companies ForceLink, Philips, CHDR and MOOG hope to realise through their participation in the STW Perspectiefprogramma NeuroSIPE. On 4 and 5 April 2013 the third symposium of this programme, in which universities and companies develop diagnostic tools, took place in Doorn. Besides presentations about the research, companies have also now revealed how they think they will benefit from the collaboration.


In NeuroSipe, universities, large companies and SMEs are developing new diagnostic tools for neurological disorders by using system identification techniques for the peripheral and central nervous system. Programme leader professor Frans van der Helm briefly restated the final purpose of NeuroSIPE at the opening of the symposium: realising the quantitative or even the diagnostic phase, in other words applying the technology to patients.

In search of clinical parameters

The NeuroSIPE programme started in 2010 and runs until 2015. During the introduction, the four phases of the research were once again highlighted: the initial phase, the potential phase, quantitative phase, and the diagnostic phase.

In the initial phase, the measurement protocols are tested and measurements are performed on healthy study subjects. The projects in this phase are BATMAN, in which research is being done into the influence of light, posture and temperature on alertness, and QDISC in which the aim is to establish the correct diagnosis for pain symptoms in the lower back.

In the potential phase, the link with the neurological disorder is made and measurements are performed on a small group of patients. Four projects are in this phase: Torticollis, Beyond Pain, Movement Diagnostic System and PaInsight (see for a description of these projects and the latest results from them).

The projects ROBIN and BalROOM are in the quantitative phase, in which the quantitative parameters are derived, clinically relevant parameters are determined, and repeated measurements are made on patients. In ROBIN, researchers are investigating movement disorders with a focus on the ankle joint. Measurements have now been done for a group of patients with cerebral palsy (CP). In the project BalROOM, research is being done into balance problems among the elderly. In the Bronovo Hospital in The Hague, a first series of measurements have been performed, in collaboration with Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), on elderly people with and without balance problems.

Patients on the treadmill

The aim of the programme, achieving the quantitative or even the diagnostic phase, was found to differ little from the aims of the participating companies. Peter Martens from ForceLink is, amongst other things, participating in BalROOM, a project that focuses on improving human balance. Martens: ‘We are a small company and make high-end treadmills; with these we lead the market. There are good reasons why we have clinical partners who say: “I want one of those in my consulting room.” In NeuroSIPE they are now working with patients and I hope that we can ultimately do research on the treadmill with patients and demonstrate a positive clinical effect.’

Knowledge of sensors

Roy Raymann from Philips is mainly looking for knowledge of sensors in the area of sleeping and alertness applications. ‘We are in the project BATMAN, which is about alertness and sleeping behaviour. You can measure alertness from the distribution of temperature over the body. Measuring rapid variations in temperature requires a fast sensor with sufficient storage. We have developed this sensor for the project.’

New services

At the Centre for Human Drug Research (CHDR) Justin Hay focuses more on the service. The CHDR is participating in the projects PaInsight and Beyond Pain, which are investigating pain control, and the BalROOM programme that measures the retention of balance in the elderly. The aims of these projects tie in well with the CHDR Research & Development programme. He states that key benefits are the expansion of the network, the CHDR services and demonstrating the innovative research to sponsors. ‘Ultimately there must be a new service for our clients.’

Launching customer

How does Dyon Bode of precision motion control products manufacturer MOOG look back on the collaboration in the project Movement Diagnostic System (MDS), which maps human movement? ‘The advantages for us are that we gain product ideas, can initiate new research and are the first user - launching customer - for new devices. An example of that is Achilles, our ankle testing device. We also provide internship places for students, who might become potential employees. To be honest we get the best of both worlds.’


With that last sentence, Bode characterises the essence of an STW Perspectiefprogramma: combining the best of both worlds for the smartest solutions. Just like in NeuroSIPE.

- Summerschool 2011, 3-7 October 2011

The new NeuroSIPE logo was presented at the Summerschool. The winning logo was designed by Paul van Drunen.

- NeuroSIPE symposium 2011, 7 - 8 April 2011

- Summerschool 2010

The Summerschool 2010 was combined with the Kick-Off meeting of the NeuroSIPE program