High-Tech for higher touch? Exemplars & research / Key Note

Professor Michael L. Kuchera, DO, FAAO: Professor, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine; Director, OMM Research / Human Performance & Biomechanics Laboratory; Clinical Director, Center for Chronic Disorders of Aging

Very few “gold-standards” exist to validate palpatory findings of somatic dysfunction or its modification with Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) techniques.

Background: At the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, the speaker and his Team have had access to high-tech instrumentation including a pressure monitor system (IsoTOUCH® from Neuromuscular Engineering LLC; Nashville TN, USA) and a hysteresis / durometer measurement system (Spineliner® from Sigma Corporation; Pittsburgh PA, USA).  I will discuss how use of this equipment has added significantly to numerous interexaminer reliability studies at PCOM and outcome measures of the use of OMT in various regions.  In particular, I will synopse the insights that such high-tech instrumentation has had on our interpretation of findings and design of subsequent studies.  Other instrumentation including accelerometers, dolorimeters, and video recordings can be used to document specific component elements used in the conduct of procedures used.

Conclusion: A number of exemplars correlating “high-tech” measurement tools will be presented in respect to teaching and documentation of palpatory findings and the response to different forms of OMT.  Our experience suggests that use of such instrumentation has application in both academic and research settings and may have the potential to improve precision and confidence in students and teachers alike.