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BME graduate won the Silver Prize of the HKEIA Innovation & Technology Project Competition Award 2019

It is delighted to announce that Miss LIU Lejian Lucy, graduated from BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Engineering, won the Silver Prize of the Hong Kong Electronic Industries Association (HKEIA) Innovation & Technology Project Competition Award 2019 on 14 October 2019. This Award recognizes and rewards university graduates in Hong Kong with outstanding final year projects which demonstrate excellence in technology and innovation. Lucy’s capstone project, supervised by Dr. LEE Ming Hung Thomas, focused on the development of a new graphene-based electrochemical tattoo biosensor for noninvasive sweat lactate monitoring.

17 Oct, 2019

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Scolioscan Air: Portable 3D Ultrasound Imaging System is published in IfE Technology Frontier

Scolioscan Air: Portable 3D Ultrasound Imaging System Makes scoliosis assessment more accessible ScolioscanAir

16 Sep, 2019

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PolyU BME teachers and students provide orthotic service to children in Yangjiang

PolyU BME teachers and students provide orthotic service to children in Yangjiang   A group of teachers and students from PolyU’s Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) provided voluntary orthotic service to 36 children suffering from cerebral palsy in Yangjiang City, Guangdong. Dr Aaron Leung from BME said that most children with cerebral palsy will have problems with spasms causing deformities in the upper and lower limbs. Besides producing appropriate orthosis for the children, the BME team would also return to Yangjiang to help with the adjustment follow up service in future.   Online coverage: Mini Eastday

23 May, 2019

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“Scolioscan Air” – the first-of-its-kind palm-sized 3D ultrasound imaging system brings accurate, safe and cost-efficient mass screening to schools and anywhere in the community

In a press conference arranged by CPA which has been held on 2 May 2019, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) shared that more youngsters can have their scoliosis conditions detected early and monitored frequently, thanks to the portable imaging system developed by PolyU’s experts in scoliosis research. The first-of-its-kind palm-sized 3D ultrasound imaging system for radiation-free scoliosis assessment, named “Scolioscan Air”, can bring accurate, safe and cost-efficient mass screening to schools and anywhere in the community. The portable Scolioscan Air developed by the research team of PolyU’s Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) was recently awarded Grand Award, Gold Medal with the Congratulations of Jury, and Special Merit Award at the 47th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva held in April. Scoliosis is one of the most prevalent spinal diseases affecting adolescents. It is estimated that about 3% to 5% of adolescents in Hong Kong suffering from scoliosis, with increasing prevalence in recent years.1 A recent study in Guangzhou indicated that for girls aged 14 and 15, the prevalence is as high as 13.8%. About 15% of the adolescents with scoliosis would have condition deteriorating, and bracing or surgery would be required when curves progress to moderate or severe status. Early detection of scoliosis conditions and regular check-up during the rapid growing period of adolescent school-children is thus crucial. At present, X-ray imaging is the clinical gold standard for scoliosis assessment, but radiation exposure may pose increased risk for cancer. PolyU-developed scoliosis imaging technology Ir Professor ZHENG Yong-ping, Head of BME and Henry G. Leong Professor in Biomedical Engineering, who leads the research, said Scolioscan Air is a further advanced system based on the PolyU-developed 3D ultrasound imaging technology under the trademark “Scolioscan” (weighed about 150 kg). “Scolioscan” was successfully commercialised into a clinic-based facility in 2016. Being radiation-free and more cost-effective than prevailing X-ray imaging technologies,Scolioscan can facilitate mass screening and frequent follow-up monitoring. Clinical trials have proven the novel technology is very reliable, with accuracy of curve measurement comparable to X-ray assessment.2 3 Moreover, it can obtain image in any postures, provide vertebra rotation and muscle-related information, and form a 3D spinal model for the three-dimensional analysis of deformity of spine. All these cannot be achieved by X-ray imaging systems commonly used at present. Scolioscan can also be applied to conducting prognosis and monitoring treatment outcomes for each scoliosis patient so as to establish personalised treatment plan. Palm-sized Scolioscan Air facilitates screening anywhere, anytime The research team has recently applied the novel technology to a portable palm-sizedScolioscan Air they further developed, which weighed only 5 kg. “With this innovation, we can now literally bring the device and mass screening service to the youngsters anywhere, anytime. It would facilitate the implementation of school-based scoliosis screening to detect and treat spinal curvatures before they become severe enough to cause chronic pain or other health issues among adolescents,” said Professor Zheng. “Moreover, when providing non-surgical treatment for scoliosis patients, healthcare personnel can use Scolioscan Air to conduct real-time assessment, so as to optimise the treatment outcome.” Scolioscan Air consists of three hardware components: i) a palm-sized wireless ultrasound probe with an optical marker mounted at its bottom; ii) a depth camera; and iii) a laptop or tablet computer with dedicated software. The compact optical marker and depth camera replace the spatial sensor used in Scolioscan and thus help dramatically downsize the device. In addition, the technology for 3D ultrasound image reconstruction, visualisation and measurement, including a fully automatic curvature measurement method and 3D spinal deformity analysis software, developed by the team earlier can also be applied to Scolioscan Air. The newly developed optical 3D spatial tracking method for Scolioscan Air achieves a high degree of accuracy, which is comparable with Scolioscan. Moreover, the technological compatibility makes Scolioscan Air readily available for commercialisation for popular use. With dramatically reduced material cost, size and weight compared with other scanning systems, Scolioscan Air can be carried within a suitcase. Scolioscan has been registered as a medical device in different countries since 2016, including European Union and Australia. A total of 23 patents globally for the related technology have been awarded to, or filed by, PolyU and the collaborating company. The clinic-based systems have been installed in clinics in Hong Kong, Macau, the Mainland, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, etc; and have been used for scoliosis scanning for over 4,000 patients. Members of the PolyU research team of Scolioscan Air include Mr MENG Qiang, Mr Derek YANG De, Mr Joseph HUI Chi-ho, and Mr Henry WONG Yiu-hang. Note: Video on “Scolioscan Air”:- ***** [1]Fong , et al. A population-based cohort study of 94401 children followed for 10 years exhibits sustained effectiveness of scoliosis screening. Spine Journal. 2015;15:825–33 [2]Zheng et al. A reliability and validity study for Scolioscan: a radiation-free scoliosis assessment system using 3D ultrasound image. Scoliosis and Spinal Disorders (2016) 11:13 [3]Brink et al. A reliability and validity study for different coronal angles using ultrasound imaging in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. The Spinal Journal 18(6), 2017.

2 May, 2019

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Congratulations on reaching a long service milestone with Department of Biomedical Engineering

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University held a Long Service Awards Presentation Ceremony in Jockey Club Auditorium on 22 February, 2019. This year marks the 30th year of service by Mr. Chen Kung Chee and Mr. Samy Leung, and the 20th by Professor Zheng Yong-ping and Mr. Li Ho-yip, four dedicated BME colleagues who received the Long Service Award at the ceremony. BME has a mission to nurture future leaders in biomedical engineering and prosthetics and orthotics, to advance knowledge through interdisciplinary research and technology transfer and to enhance the quality of life for people by offering user-focused services. The Long Service Award recognizes and rewards tremendous contributions by the four colleagues to BME in the pursue of our mission over the years. Mr. Chen, Mr Leung, Prof Zheng and Mr Li, we take pride in your accomplishment and commitment to excellence. Congratulations on achieving the award!

22 Feb, 2019

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Funded project: Early detection of scoliosis using radiation-free 3D ultrasound imaging

Early detection of scoliosis using radiation-free 3D ultrasound imaging – led by Professor Zheng Yong-ping, Head, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Henry G. Leong Professor in Biomedical Engineering, PolyU; $8.4 million funding. Online coverage: RTHK – CRHK – HK China News Agency – 香港01 – HK Economic Times – Ta Kung Pao – Wen Wei Po – – Sing Tao Daily – Sky Post – 東網 (台灣版) – 

15 Feb, 2019

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BME Congregation Day 2018

Congratulations to all BME’s graduates! The 24th Congregation (Faculty of Engineering) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University was held on 16 November 2018 at the Jockey Club Auditorium of PolyU. Families and friends of graduates gathered together to witness such a memorable moment. BME Graduate Representative, Mr. CHEUNG Cheuk Hei, delivered his Valedictory Speech during the graduation ceremony. Mr. CHEUNG Cheuk Hei delivered his Valedictory Speech

16 Nov, 2018

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PolyU develops robotic arm for self-help mobile rehabilitation for stroke patients

A press conference has been held on 31 October 2018 about an innovative robotic arm developed by Dr Hu Xiao-ling and her research team in PolyU’s Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME). The robotic arm facilitates self-help and upper-limb mobile rehabilitation for stroke patients. The lightweight device enables the patients to engage in intensive and effective self-help rehabilitation exercise anywhere, anytime after they are discharged from hospital. The robotic arm, called “mobile exo-neuro-musculo-skeleton”, is the first-of-its-kind integration of exo-skeleton, soft robot and exo-nerve stimulation technologies. Stroke is the third leading cause of disability worldwide. In Hong Kong, there are about 25,000 new incidences of stroke annually in recent years. Research studies have proven that intensive, repeated and long-term rehabilitation training are critical for enhancing the physical mobility of stroke patients, thus help alleviating post-stroke symptoms such as disability. However, access to the outpatient rehabilitation service for stroke patients has been difficult. Due to the overwhelming demand for rehabilitation services, patients have to queue up for a long time to get a slot for rehabilitation training. As such, they can’t get timely support and routine rehabilitation exercises. Stroke patients also find it challenging to travel from home to outpatient clinics. The “mobile exo-neuro-musculo-skeleton”, developed by Dr Hu Xiao-ling and her research team in the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) of PolyU, features lightweight design (up to 300g for wearable upper limb components, which are fit for different functional training needs), low power demand (12V rechargeable battery supply for 4-hour continuous use), and sportswear features. The robotic arm thus provides a flexible, self-help, easy-to-use, mobile tool for patients to supplement their rehabilitation sessions at the clinic. The innovative training option can effectively enhance the rehabilitation progress. Dr Hu Xiaoling said development of the novel device was inspired by the feedback of many stroke patients who were discharged from hospital. They faced problems in having regular and intensive rehabilitation training crucial for limb recovery. “We are confident that with our mobile exo-neuro-musculo-skeleton, stroke patients can conduct rehabilitation training anytime and anywhere, turning the training into part of their daily activities. We hope such flexible self-help training can well supplement traditional outpatient rehabilitation services, helping stroke patients achieve a much better rehabilitation progress.” Her team anticipated that the robotic arm can be commercialised in two years. The BME innovation integrates exo-skeleton and soft robot structural designs – the two technologies commonly adopted in existing upper-limb rehabilitation training devices for stroke patients as well as the PolyU-patented exo-nerve stimulation technology. Integration of exo-skeleton, soft robot and exo-nerve stimulation technologies The working principle of both exo-skeleton and soft robot designs is to provide external mechanical forces driven by voluntary muscle signals to assist the patient’s desired joint movement. Conventional exo-skeleton structure is mainly constructed by orthotic materials such as metal and plastic, simulating external bones of the patient. Although it is compact in size, it is heavy and uncomfortable to wear. Soft robot, made of air-filled or liquid-filled pipes to simulate one’s external muscles, is light in weight but very bulky in size. Both types of structures demand high electrical power for driving motors or pumps, thus it is not convenient for patients to use them outside hospitals or rehabilitation centres. Combining the advantages of both structural designs, the BME innovative robotic arm is light in weight, compact in size, fast in response and demands minimal power supply, therefore it is suitable for use in both indoor and outdoor environment. The robotic arm is unique in performing outstanding rehabilitation effect by further integrating the external mechanical force design with the PolyU-patented Neuro-muscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) technology. Upon detecting the electromyography signals at the user’s muscles, the device will respond by applying NMES to contract the muscles, as well as exerting external mechanical forces to assist the joint’s desired voluntary movement. Research studies found that the combination of muscle strength triggered by NMES and external mechanical forces is 40% more effective for stroke rehabilitation than applying external mechanical forces alone. Rehabilitation effect proven in trials An initial trial of the robotic arm on 10 stroke patients indicated better muscle coordination, wrist and finger functions, and lower muscle spasticity of all after they have completed 20 two-hour training sessions. Further clinical trials will be carried out in collaboration with hospitals and clinics. The robotic arm consists of components for wrist/hand, elbow, and fingers which can be worn separately or together for different functional training needs. The sportswear design, using washable fabric with ultraviolet protection and good ventilation, also makes the robotic arm a comfortable wear for the patients. The device also has a value-added feature of connecting to a mobile application (APP) where user can use the APP interface to control their own training. The APP also records real-time training data for better monitoring of the rehabilitation progress by both healthcare practitioners and the patients themselves. It can also serve as a social network platform for stroke patients to communicate online with each other for mutual support.  

31 Oct, 2018

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Jockey Club Smart Ageing Hub Opening Ceremony & Symposium

Jockey Club Smart Ageing Hub Opening Ceremony & Symposium A New Project of BME for Promoting Gerontechnology   We are pleased to share with you that BME is launching a new project, the Jockey Club Smart Ageing Hub (“the Project”), for enhancing the public awareness of technological devices related to the elderly. Details of the event are as follows: Date            : 27 October 2018 (Saturday) Time           : 9:00 am – 4:30 pm (registration starts at 8:30am) Venue         : Chiang Chen Studio Theatre, The Hong Kong  Polytechnic University More Information: Event Booklet

27 Oct, 2018

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PolyU develops eNightLog System for caring Elderly with Dementia

In a press conference arranged by CPA which has been held on 8 October 2018, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has developed eNightLog, a multi-function nighttime monitoring system for elderly with dementia, to track their respiration and activities in bed for preventing fall or wandering away. The safe and non-restraint system, particularly designed for coping with the typical environment of nursing homes in Hong Kong, will help greatly improve the elderly’s quality of life, while enhancing the efficiency and lessening the workload of healthcare personnel. It is projected that the number of people aged 65 and above in Hong Kong will reach around 2.5 million by 2040, about one-third of the overall population then. Among the elderly at that time, around 332,700, or one out of 10, would suffer from dementia, triple of the figure in    2009. [1]The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease, characterized by gradual deterioration in one’s mental capacities including memory, judgment and communication ability, as well as usual symptoms of depression, agitation and sleep disturbances. The eNightLog system, developed by a research team led by Ir Professor Zheng Yongping, Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at PolyU and Henry G. Leong Professor in Biomedical Engineering, was awarded Gold Medal at the 46th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva this year. Members of the research team include Dr Eric Tam, Dr James Cheung, Mr Will Lai and Mr Alex Mak. “PolyU has profound history of applying the assistive and rehabilitation health technologies developed by our faculty members to cope with social needs. By helping various nursing homes to set up the eNightLog system we developed, we hope to contribute our expertise for helping create an age-friendly society,” said Professor Zheng. He is glad that the government has pledged support towards constructing “Smart Living” for all citizens especially for the disadvantaged, and planned to roll out a HK$1 billion fund this year for subsidizing elderly service units to make good use of gerontechnology. He hopes that with such support, eNightLog can bring benefits to not only more elderly with dementia, but also other elderly in need and other disabled groups. eNightLog system provides safe and non-restraint monitoring The non-contact and non-invasive eNightLog system is embedded with event sequence tracking and different kinds of remote sensing and imaging technologies, based on innovative algorithm developed by the BME team of PolyU. This innovative technique has already been patented. Seventeen systems have been installed and tested in a nursing home for 2 months this year for nighttime monitoring. During this period, 380 incidences of elderly leaving bed alone were recorded, with all them being successfully detected (100%), and only 2 times of false alarm occurred (0.5%). In addition, the system recorded 525 events of caregivers visiting elderly and accompanying the elderly leaving, and accuracy rate is 100%. The eNightLog system includes following sensors to detect different activities of the elderly in bed: Near Infrared 3D sensor tracts the resident’s positions and postures (lying down, sitting on bed or bedside, standing beside the bed, bed-leaving) and caregivers’ visits. It thus helps prevent the resident from falling and wandering, and improve staff response time. The algorithm can also detect caregivers paying night visits to the elderly, thus avoiding false alarm. Ultra-Wideband (UWB) Impulse Radar sensor detects small motions even under quilt, including respiration rate, to identify the resident’s health condition and sleep quality. Environment sensor provides various ambient measurements and controls, such as room temperature and light control. The activity status and alarm of multiple residents are transmitted in the form of text, icons or processed infrared image, to display on the caregivers’ computer stations or mobile devices. Signals detected beyond the pre-set normality range will trigger alarm for caregivers to take immediate actions. The research team will soon extend the functions of eNightLog system to detecting heart rate and body temperature, and connect the system with different kinds of smart devices such as electronic diaper. In addition, the system can also link with an ultrasound bladder volume detector to facilitate caregivers to take better care of their residents, especially in handling urinary incontinence. The team is exploring big data analysis to provide more preventive information for health care of elderly. “Being a multi-sensing system and platform, eNightLog is greatly scalable in connecting with other devices, including wearable, non-contact or remote-control ones. The further applications and development of eNightLog with advancing rehabilitation health technologies can be very promising,” said Dr Eric Tam. (End) ********   [1]Yu R, Chau P, McGhee S, Cheung W, Chan K, et al.. (2012) Trends in Prevalence and Mortality of Dementia in Elderly Hong Kong Population: Projections, Disease Burden, and Implication for Long-Term Care. International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. doi: 10.1155/2012/406852.

8 Oct, 2018

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