Aiming to find the least invasive and most effective method to alleviate the pain caused by widespread musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among dental professionals, we at Posture Leader have created the optimum solution.
Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)
Our muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints are some of the body parts that enable us to sit, stand, walk, lift, carry items, and function in various ways. However, sometimes, the simplest tasks like sitting may cause pain and even result in serious injuries such as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Constant overexertion can progressively develop MSDs, especially in the back, neck, and shoulder area, or it could potentially cause lumbar sprains, tendonitis, and bursitis.
Developing such conditions can be related to personal factors such as type of work, age, and lifestyle, consequently affecting joints and muscles. MSDs can manifest as mild discomfort and dismissible pain at their first stages, but they may worsen if left untreated and can easily affect our quality of life over time.
Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs)
Frequent and repeated movements, or staying in a single position for a prolonged amount of time, such as sitting for extended periods (which sometimes cannot be avoided at the workplace), can cause trauma to the muscular and skeletal structures of the body. This trauma would consequently translate into work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
MSDs, specifically in the back and neck areas, are the most common reasons people visit healthcare clinics. They are also among the leading causes of disability that can easily prevent people from working or engaging in everyday activities. It is estimated that back pain accounts for 264 million lost workdays each year, which means two workdays for each full-time worker. The total cost can add up to $50 billion in damage to the economy due to slowed productivity, reduced turnover, and increased medical bills.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Dental Professionals
Dental health care professions are among the high-risk jobs for developing MSDs. The most common MSDs in this sector are chronic lower back pain, tension neck syndrome, trapezius myalgia, and rotator cuff impingement. These can directly affect one’s working capacity through absence from work due to pain, and if left untreated, it can shorten an oral health care provider’s career. Demanding working conditions that necessitate holding a poor posture for long periods contribute to the risk of developing MSDs. Studies have shown that 77.9% of dentists have reported having chronic back pains during their careers due to sitting or holding a single posture for prolonged amounts of time. Such conditions can result in pain as they would put strains on the back, the legs, the gluteus muscles region, and the core.
In conclusion, musculoskeletal pain is definitely an issue with a high-risk, physically demanding career such as dental healthcare. So we decided to design a smart wearable device called Posture Leader to tackle this issue among dental professionals.
Posture Leader Is Comprised of Three Parts:
The smart wearable device has a spine sensor (tag) that receives signals from the existing sensors behind the headrest on the dental chair unit (anchor) to determine the practitioner’s location. The triangular tracking system determines the practitioner’s body’s positioning with regard to the patient. To correctly determine the posture being held and lessen the device’s margin of error, a combination of a Gyrometer and an accelerometer are also placed inside the spine sensor. The practitioner’s postures are recorded to monitor and analyze their postural habits.
Using machine learning and gesture recognition, we have been able to accurately analyze posture and movements to detect improper postures among dental professionals. Artificial Intelligence powers the detection system and updates the database according to the user’s performance and feedback. The product is designed to prevent common work-related musculoskeletal disorders among dental professionals by informing them about their frequently held harmful postures. Furthermore, Posture Leader’s artificial intelligence will provide the user with tailored exercises to help strengthen and correct their postures after analyzing the data. The wearable device is made from high-quality material and can be worn underneath regular clothing. A PCB, wi-fi/Bluetooth module, and the sensor chip are placed inside a custom-built container that can be seen in the picture below.
Posture Leader will also provide you with a mobile application that has been developed specifically for dental professionals. It is user-friendly and features a real-time display of posture changes.
When deviating from the correct posture for specific dental procedures, both the device and the user’s cellphone will gently vibrate to notify the users of their poor posture. The app is customizable, enabling users to change some of its features to suit their needs.
It will also log the user’s posture throughout the day, giving them daily corrective exercises for their neck and back based on recently held postures and suggesting healthier functional equivalent poses for any specific dental operation.