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Augmented Reality for evaluating musculoskeletal disorders

The treatment of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) is one of the challenges to be overcome in the modern world. Rehabilitation plays a key role in the treatment of MSDs, aiming at restoring the physiological biomechanics of the joints, relieve pain and prevent the onset of disability. 

To improve the quality of the diagnosis and increase our knowledge about the processes behind human movement, tools that can objectively quantify the joint kinematics parameters during motion and intuitively present them to the clinicians in real time are needed. These tools would offer great advantages to a wide range of clinical applications such as the evaluation of knee internal loads for patients affected by knee osteoarthritis (OA). In fact, a common non-invasive treatment strategy is gait modification, but so far physiotherapists are not able to observe in real time how the retrained gait pattern affects the knee loads. 

Augmented Reality (AR) is a recent technology that allows the visualization of virtual objects (holograms) mixed in the real world. AR applications can be integrated in head mounted displays (e.g. HoloLens) that can be worn by the physiotherapist like a pair of glasses.  

In this project, we will explore the potential of HoloLens to be used as a single, portable device worn by physiotherapists for assessing patient movements. 


Primary Reearcher 

dra. Silvia Zaccardi


Prof. Dr. Eva Swinnen
Prof. Dr. David Beckwée 
Prof. Dr. Bart Jansen (ETRO) 


VUB vrije universiteit Brussel