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A new method for detecting carpal tunnel syndrome using a smartphone

A Japanese research team has developed a smartphone gaming app that can help detect carpal tunnel syndrome

Editor: Bolysbek Dana

Author: Tulkibaeva Nursulu


         Carpal tunnel syndrome is a neurological syndrome that occurs when the median nerve in the hand is compressed. The syndrome is more common in women aged 40-50 years, due to arthritis, endocrine diseases when the compression of the nerve and its canal is caused by soft tissue swelling or fluid accumulation. Occupational activities can also be a risk factor, such as pianists, sign language interpreters, cyber athletes, drummers, etc. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a frequent cause of disability because the disease causes pain, decreased sensitivity, and impaired fine motor skills in the hand. 

         An accurate diagnosis can be made through nerve conduction studies, which are costly and difficult.

         The research team of Dr. Koji Fujita of Tokyo Medical and Dental University and Associate Professor Yuta Sugiura of Keio University, have developed a smartphone game application that can be used to identify carpal tunnel syndrome. The game involves the thumbs, the program determines the trajectory of their movements and assesses the possibility of the disease. The game itself takes from 30 seconds to 1 minute.

         In the study, the app was tested on 5 asymptomatic and 36 patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, and the sensitivity of the method was 93%, which is a promising result for the research team.

         Such apps designed for early disease diagnosis are gaining popularity, they are convenient and accessible for the average user. Could smartphones replace some diagnostic methods in the future?