Neurodata Tracker: Software for computational assessment of hand motor skills based on optical motion capture in a virtual environment

López D, Casado-Fernández L, Fernández F et al. Digit Health. 2023 May 11;9:20552076231174786. doi: 10.1177/20552076231174786. eCollection 2023 Jan-Dec. PMID: 37197411


Objectives: Deficits affecting hand motor skills negatively impact the quality of life of patients. The NeuroData Tracker platform has been developed for the objective and precise evaluation of hand motor deficits. We describe the design and development of the platform and analyse the technological feasibility and usability in a relevant clinical setting.
Methods: A software application was developed in Unity (C#) to obtain kinematic data from hand movement tracking by a portable device with two cameras and three infrared sensors (leap motion®). Four exercises were implemented: (a) wrist flexion-extension (b) finger-grip opening-closing (c) finger spread (d) fist opening-closing. The most representative kinematic parameters were selected for each exercise. A script in Python was integrated in the platform to transform realtime kinematic data into relevant information for the clinician. The application was tested in a pilot study comparing the data provided by the tool from ten healthy subjects without any motor impairment and ten patients diagnosed with a stroke with mild to moderate hand motor deficit.
Results: The NeuroData Tracker allowed the parameterization of kinematics of hand movement and the issuance of a report with the results. The comparison of the data obtained suggests the feasibility of the tool for detecting differences between patients and healthy subjects.
Conclusions: This new platform based on optical motion capturing provides objective measurement of hand movement allowing quantification of motor deficits. These findings require further validation of the tool in larger trials to verify its usefulness in the clinical setting.

Funding: The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Invictus Plus network under grant RD16/0019/0005 and the RICORS network under grant RD21/0006/0012, Spanish Ministry of Health-Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII) and the Next Generation EU funds (Recovery and Resilience Plan).