The Eurecat technology centre is coordinating the 6MWT+ project which has developed a new system to enhance monitoring of the evolution of chronic neuromuscular diseases. It does this by integrating biomechanical sensors into the 6 Minute Walk Test, one of the standard functional tests used in hospitals for assessing and measuring these diseases.

The new system is called WalkTest+ and is at a very advanced validation stage using pilot tests in two world-class hospitals, Sant Joan de Déu Hospital in Barcelona and the Neuromuscular Centre in Copenhagen. Sensors have been integrated into the system to allow complete biomechanical functional evaluation of walking, with special emphasis on Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy and myotonic muscular dystrophy which affect around 360,000 adults and 56,000 children in Europe as a whole.

In the case of WalkTest+, “the innovative aspect of the project is that it keeps the current protocol in place in hospitals while providing an added bonus in its sensorisation to give doctors more information and more objectivity,” says Felip Miralles, Director of Eurecat’s eHealth Unit.