CleveMed awarded $245,000 NIH grant to develop a device for quantifying the efficacy of alternative medicine techniques

Cleveland Medical Devices has announced that it has been awarded $245,000 in NIH SBIR funding.

The proceeds from the grant will fund the development of an Adherence Activity and Outcome Measure Belt that will help researchers quantitatively determine the efficacy of yoga, meditation and other similar alternative medicine techniques as a clinical treatment. Over the long term, the device will have the potential to aid clinicians in assessing patient's adherence to treatment protocol and activity level to determine outcome measures.

CleveMed's Division of Sleep Disorders is focused on creating innovative technology to better diagnose and treat patients with sleep disorders. Grant Principal Investigator Matt Tarler, PhD is excited about the project. "This technology complements our existing efforts to improve the lives of patients suffering from insomnia and sleep apnea."

Although mind-body alternative medicine techniques such as yoga have been in existence for centuries and have been attributed with many health benefits for sleep disorders, anxiety stress disorders and more, scientific evidence supporting these claims has been difficult to acquire. Presently, an objective and practical means of monitoring patient adherence and treatment efficacy does not exist.

The device will incorporate a number of different sensors, including a pulse oximeter, electronic stethoscope, accelerometer and respiratory effort belt. These sensors will enable the collection of oxygen saturation (spO2), heart rate, airflow and body position. By providing a device that incorporates these sensors into a single, easy-to-wear and comfortable belt, patients will be more likely to adhere to treatment protocol. The resulting data then will allow researchers and clinicians to objectively quantify the duration, quality and efficacy of the alternative medicine technique in use.

"I believe that a device that is capable of recording adherence, activity and outcome measures during studies involving yoga, meditation research and other similar alternative medicine techniques represents an important issue in the research of mind-body medicine," said co-investigator Sat Bir S. Khalsa, Ph.D. with the Sleep Disorders Program of the Harvard Medical School.

According to Tanya Edwards, MD, M.Ed., grant co-investigator and Medical Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, "For a long time now, I have been an advocate of yoga and other alternative medicines and am excited to see a new device that will help to prove their health benefits. I see this device eventually providing feedback to the patients doing the exercises to let them know how well they are doing or when they meet certain goals. It may also motivate the patients by providing them with outcome measure tracking, so that they can monitor their own progress."

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