Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)
Our muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints are some of our body parts that enable us to sit, stand, walk, lift and carry items, and function in a variety of ways. However, sometimes, even simplest of tasks like sitting, may cause pain and result in serious injuries such as musculoskeletal disorder (MSD). Constant overexertion can progressively develop MSDs such as back pain, neck and shoulder pain, lumbar sprain, tendonitis, and bursitis. These may be related to work, age, our daily life and can affect joints, and muscles. At first, MSDs can be mild discomfort and pain but may worsen if left untreated and can easily affect our quality of life over the short and long term.
Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs)
Frequent and repeated movements which sometimes can’t be avoided in the workplace, as we all sit for extended periods of time, can cause trauma to the muscular and skeletal structures of the body, which then can result in work-related musculoskeletal disorders. WMSDs specifically in back and neck areas are some of the most common reasons for people to visit health-care clinics and are among the most causes of disability that can easily prevent people from going to work as well as engaging in daily activities. It is estimated that back pain accounts for 264 million lost work days each year which means two work days for each full-time worker which then adds up to a cost of $50 billion dollars to the economy due to slowed productivity, reduced turnover and increased medical bills.
Musculoskeletal Disorders among Dentists
Dentistry is one of the high-risk professions for developing MSDs, the most common ones being chronic low back pain, tension neck syndrome, trapezius myalgia, and rotator cuff impingement. These can directly affect work capacity, cause absence, and If left untreated, can shorten a dentist’s career. Hard working conditions that result in having poor posture for long periods of time contribute to the risk of MSDs. Studies have shown that 77.9% of dentists have reported having chronic back pains during their careers due to sitting down for long periods of time, which strains the back, the gluteus muscles, as well as the legs and the core.
The first part is the wearable device which has two high precision motion sensor chips that record dental professional’s posture, to monitor and analyze their postural habits. By using machine learning and gesture recognition, we have been able to accurately capture posture movements and detect improper postures in dental professionals. The Artificial Intelligence powers the detection system and updates the database according to users’ performance and feedback. The product is designed to prevent common work-related musculoskeletal disorders in dental professionals by informing them about their frequent harmful postures.
Furthermore, after analyzing the data, the Artificial Intelligence will provide the user with tailored exercises to help strengthen and repair their postures. The wearable device is made from high-quality material and can be worn underneath clothing. A PCB along with the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module and the sensor chip are inside a custom-built container which can be seen in figure.
The last part is the mobile application which has been developed specifically for dental professionals. It is easy to use and features real-time display of posture changes. When deviating from the correct posture for specific dental procedures, both the device and the cellphone will vibrate to notify the users of their poor posture. The app is customizable so that the user can change some of its features to better suit their needs. It will also log user’s posture throughout the day, gives corrective daily exercises for the neck and back based on recent postures and suggests healthier functionally equivalent postures.
Chair Position Sensor
The second part is the sensor chip that is attached to the users’ chair. This sensor will provide the standard sitting position for the user which depends on the selected tooth and operation. Deviating from the standard sitting position results in harmful postures since the dental professional will need to extend his/her reach, and/or acquire poor posture. The device will vibrate to notify the user about poor positioning of the chair.