Evaluation of the iPhone with an acrylic sleeve versus the Scoliometer for rib hump measurement in scoliosis

Izatt, Maree T., Bateman, Gary R., & Adam, Clayton J. (2012) Evaluation of the iPhone with an acrylic sleeve versus the Scoliometer for rib hump measurement in scoliosis. Scoliosis, 7(1), p. 14.

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Background. Vertebral rotation found in structural scoliosis contributes to trunkal asymmetry which is commonly measured with a simple Scoliometer device on a patient's thorax in the forward flexed position. The new generation of mobile 'smartphones' have an integrated accelerometer, making accurate angle measurement possible, which provides a potentially useful clinical tool for assessing rib hump deformity. This study aimed to compare rib hump angle measurements performed using a Smartphone and traditional Scoliometer on a set of plaster torsos representing the range of torsional deformities seen in clinical practice.

Methods. Nine observers measured the rib hump found on eight plaster torsos moulded from scoliosis patients with both a Scoliometer and an Apple iPhone on separate occasions. Each observer repeated the measurements at least a week after the original measurements, and were blinded to previous results. Intra-observer reliability and inter-observer reliability were analysed using the method of Bland and Altman and 95% confidence intervals were calculated. The Intra-Class Correlation Coefficients (ICC) were calculated for repeated measurements of each of the eight plaster torso moulds by the nine observers.

Results. Mean absolute difference between pairs of iPhone/Scoliometer measurements was 2.1 degrees, with a small (1 degrees) bias toward higher rib hump angles with the iPhone. 95% confidence intervals for intra-observer variability were +/- 1.8 degrees (Scoliometer) and +/- 3.2 degrees (iPhone). 95% confidence intervals for inter-observer variability were +/- 4.9 degrees (iPhone) and +/- 3.8 degrees (Scoliometer). The measurement errors and confidence intervals found were similar to or better than the range of previously published thoracic rib hump measurement studies.

Conclusions. The iPhone is a clinically equivalent rib hump measurement tool to the Scoliometer in spinal deformity patients. The novel use of plaster torsos as rib hump models avoids the variables of patient fatigue and discomfort, inconsistent positioning and deformity progression using human subjects in a single or multiple measurement sessions.

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ID Code: 52848
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: scoliosis, rib hump, rib hump measurement, scoliometer, iPhone, measurement variability, smartphone, inter-observer variability, intra-observer variability, Scoliguage, acrylic sleeve
DOI: 10.1186/1748-7161-7-14
ISSN: 1748-7161
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING (090300) > Biomechanical Engineering (090302)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300) > Orthopaedics (110314)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: 2012 Izatt et al.
Copyright Statement: © 2012 Izatt et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0),
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Deposited On: 31 Jul 2012 22:55
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2013 22:01

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