Friday June 22, 2018

Respiratory illness could be prevented from Microsoft Xbox Kinect

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image source: armaitus.wordpress.com

London: Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect, a popular sensor-based gaming console – can assess the respiratory function of patients and spot conditions such as cystic fibrosis, researchers including an Indian origin scientist report.

The team from the University of Warwick and the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, University of Birmingham and Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) have developed a method to use the gaming device.

The system consists of four Kinect sensors which are capable of quickly creating a 3D image of a patient’s torso.

This enables physicians to measure and assess how a chest wall moves.

In tests, it has proven to be as accurate as a patient breathing into a spirometer, the current method used, but providing additional information about the movement of the chest, which could help in identifying numerous respiratory problems.

“In screening, diagnostics, monitoring therapy and providing bio feedback, the Xbox can be used in any condition affecting breathing, “said Babu Naidu, chief investigator, a thoracic surgeon at HEFT.

“We have developed a low-cost prototype which provides a more comprehensive measurement of a patient’s breathing then existing methods, “added Dr Chris Golby at the Institute of Digital Healthcare, University of Warwick.

Spirometry is the technique most commonly used to treat lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways.

The academics put their prototype to trial initially using a resuscitation mannequin, then on healthy volunteers and adults with cystic fibrosis.

As the Kinect has an infrared beam it allowed them to measure changes in distances across the chest wall.

The system uses four sensors which allow measurement of movement from more than one viewpoint.

Using off-the-shelf and bespoke software they were able to create a 3D image of a patient’s chest wall.

“It is also potentially very useful in assessing changes in respiratory physiology that occur during exercise. This is in contrast with existing systems which rely on data from one viewpoint,” Dr Golby noted in a paper published in the journal Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing.

The team is now planning to develop their prototype further using Microsoft’s new version of the Kinect, working with cystic fibrosis and other respiratory conditions.(IANS)

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Microsoft Extends Education Push With Acquisition of Flipgrid, a Student Video Discussion Platform

Microsoft buys student video discussion platform Flipgrid

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Microsoft Extends Education Push With Acquisition of Flipgrid, a Student Video Discussion Platform
Microsoft Extends Education Push With Acquisition of Flipgrid, a Student Video Discussion Platform. Pixabay

As part of its attempt to win over students and educators, Microsoft has acquired video discussion platform Flipgrid which is used by more than 20 million teachers and students across the world.

“Thrilled to welcome @Flipgrid to Microsoft!” Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, tweeted on Monday.

“To bring the power of video-based social learning to everyone, we’ll be making Flipgrid free for all educators and offering prorated refunds to everyone who has purchased a subscription from Flipgrid in the last year,” said Eran Megiddo, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Education.

Representational image.
Representational image. Wikimedia Commons

Flipgrid was created with the aim of helping educators recast the role of video in the classroom, from a passive experience to a tool that empowers and amplifies every student’s voice.

“Fans of Flipgrid can rest assured the Flipgrid they know and love, in joining Microsoft, will continue to grow and thrive across the Microsoft, Google and partner ecosystems, all the while retaining its distinct brand, culture and team,” Megiddo added.

Also Read: Microsoft’s Android Launcher Now Lets You Track Your Kid’s Location and App Usage

For Microsoft, which is facing increased competition in the classroom from both Apple and Google in recent years, the acquisition of Flipgrid is the latest in its effort to appeal to students and teachers, The Verge reported.

Microsoft has been improving its Office 365 for education offerings, and also overhauling its web versions of Office to be more modern and faster to use for collaboration, the report added. (IANS)