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"Body Balance Monitor" to quickly visualize asymmetries in 3D scanningNoa Co.,Ltd

2019.12.05

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Back curvature (asymmetry) is represented by color gradations on a monitor

Product name = "Body Balance Monitor"

3D display of back curvature on a monitor without straining the body

The "Body Balance Monitor" is a device that instantly monitors body curvature using a one-shot 3D scanner. When a 3D scanner measures (scans) a human body without contact, lateral curvature (asymmetry) appears as color differences on a 3D model of a monitor.

If the clothes are thin, the measurements can be made with clothes on. In addition, since data is acquired without contact in instantaneous photographing lasting 0.1 seconds or less, even a person who has difficulty maintaining the same posture for a long time can be scanned. In addition, areas for evaluating asymmetry are automatically extracted, so it is not necessary to specify individual areas. The analysis is also fast, taking only a few seconds from the start to displaying the results.

On the monitor, the symmetrical portion is represented by green, and the asymmetrical portion is represented by a gradation of green to red and green to blue depending on the degree of asymmetry. You can specify in millimeters how much curvature to count as asymmetry, so even a minute curvature can be visualized.

The key to successful development is the patent-pending algorithm "R-ICP"

Noah, a developer and distributor of 3D scanners and various applications, developed the "Handy 3D Scanner" in 2014. This was a breakthrough product that made it possible for anyone to shoot with ease like with a digital camera, but the 3D scanner itself had low recognition and it was difficult to develop applications.

Eventually, after Associate Professor Hideki Sudo of the Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine asked about scoliosis diagnostic equipment, the company started developing applications for the “Handy 3D Scanner," but figuring out how to represent asymmetry was a challenge. Therefore, the company collaborated with Professor Satoshi Kanai who studies asymmetries of industrial parts at the university's Graduate School of Information Science and Technology. As a result of joint development based on the basic algorithm proposed by Prof. Kanai, the team arrived at the algorithm "R-ICP" (Reflected Iterative Closest Point), which visualizes and quantifies asymmetry. The company's proprietary 3D processing technology has been applied to R-ICP to achieve high precision and high speed processing. After more than four years of development, a visualization system for asymmetry due to scoliosis was completed which met Associate Professor Sudo's wishes.

The algorithm “R-ICP” is currently patent-pending, and a product incorporating “Body Balance Monitor” technology has recently been approved as a medical device that functions as a scoliosis monitor.

Aim for widespread use in medicine and healthcare

"Body Balance Monitor" has previously generally been sold to researchers. It has also been implemented in children's health examinations. This is an ideal use case for this product, which was designed from the development phase to easily make measurements of hundreds of children in a short time. It is also used at Japanese spas, fitness clubs, and even healthcare events that provide users with back curvature data.

Medical device approval will enable wide distribution as a medical device, including for medical examinations. As for healthcare applications, the company is building a health management system that combines the device with a smartphone app, and aims to introduce it at chiropractic and orthopedic clinics.

As the company develops 3D scanners and application systems that further enhance their value in line with customer needs, the expanded use of the “Body Balance Monitor” is likely to produce further expansion.

Coverage date September 13, 2019

 

Company overview

NOA Co.,Ltd

The company was established in Tsukuba in 1993. The main business is the development of 3D scanners and systems using 3D data. In addition to commercializing the easy-to-use handy 3D scanner "Hapimono:3D," the company also created a 3D scanner with a maximum resolution of 0.1 mm and a minimum measurement time of 1.0 second, which is used for product inspections at manufacturing factories. Established the Hokkaido Technology Development Center in Sapporo in 2010, and succeeded in developing the "Body Balance Monitor" in 2018 in cooperation with Hokkaido University Graduate School.

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