Review of Recent Patents on Detection and Quantification of Tremor
Mateo Aboy, Cristina Crespo, James McNames and Joel Sprunger
Affiliation: Electrical Engineering, Oregon Institute of Technology, Portland, OR, 97006.
Keywords: Actigraphers, activity monitoring, detection of tremor, inertial measurement units (IMUs), inertial sensors,
orientation measurement unit (OMUs), movement sensors, motion capture, movement disorders, robust wireless data transfer,
tremor, tremor detection, tremor quantification, wearable sensors.
This article provides a brief review of recent patents focused on detection and quantification of human tremor.
Tremor is the most common type of involuntary movement. The paper provides a discussion of recent patent publications
that include disclosure directed to methods, apparatuses or systems for objective detection and quantification of tremor.
Our patent search strategy reveals that over 63% of the patent publications in the technical field of body monitoring have
occurred in the last 10 years, and the last 3 years account for 30% of the statutory protection effort. Despite the significant
developments in this area, no single instrument or methodology has become accepted as a gold standard for quantifying
tremor or dominated most applications. The results of the search and review reveal that patent applications published in
the last 3 years are not directed specifically to novel methods for detection and quantification of tremor. All instruments
currently available and disclosed in recent patents present some disadvantages, and the best instrument depends on the
application requirements to determine the tradeoffs between cost, precision, duration, portability, and ease of use. No
dominant design has emerged. New instruments are continuing to be developed and it is expected that statutory protection
in this technical field will continue to expand.
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