According to the CDC, about 10,000 babies born in the U.S. will develop cerebral palsy each year, the most common motor disability in childhood. Although CP is the most common condition that leads to this problem, it is not the only one. Problems with motor skills may also arise from traumatic brain injuries, autism, and Down syndrome. Issues with fine motor skills are early signs of Parkinson’s disease and ALS syndrome.
Functional movement disorders also include conditions that are not seen as severe, such as tremors, spasms, or twitches.
What it does
Sketchmagik is a fun and interactive android application that is designed for children. It not only serves as therapy, but it sends data to the physician or therapist treating the patient. Sketchmagik tests for both motor and cognitive development.
The app starts off by showing a tutorial: there is a dotted square, and the goal is to trace it as best as you can. There are numbered dots around the shape—the user is supposed to follow those in order. Sketchmagik introduces the user to simple images, and while the user traces those images, Sketchmagik is collecting data on deviation, elapsed time, and attempts it took for the user to get the image correct.
This data is sent to a dashboard that the doctor/therapist can analyze. This data can be applied in many ways. For starters, a pediatrician can see if a child is developing the skills that are appropriate for their age range. If a child is falling behind on either motor or cognitive skills, the data can serve as a diagnostic tool, influencing the doctor to take a closer look at the patient.
For patients with disabilities, Sketchmagik can be used to measure their improvement as they’re being treated by either physical therapy or drug therapy. Sketchmagik exercises fine motor and cognitive skills, while reporting accurate data to a physician. Currently, we have parents or medical professionals dictate how “off” or “wrong” a child is performing in an activity, but Sketchmagik is meant to give statistics that won’t be biased or misinterpreted.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
Accomplishments that we're proud of
What we learned
What's next for Sketchmagik
Currently, Sketchmagik has very simple images for the user to trace, but in the future, more complex images/instructions can be integrated to keep testing the patient in different ways. For example, instructing the user to write their name or draw a picture without using tracing lines could further test cognitive/motor development. Are they capable of following those instructions, and how legible is their final product?
We believe that Sketchmagik can be modified to more specific populations, as well—games could also test for different things, such as memory. This would allow Sketchmagik to serve as a diagnostic tool to detect early signs for other conditions, such as Alzheimer’s. Sketchmagik’s simplicity and accessibility make it a great non-invasive diagnostic tool that can be used anywhere. A patient doesn’t necessarily need to be in a lab or have blood tests performed for detection of conditions. Sketchmagik can take care of that, so we’d like for the uses for it to be as universal as possible for patients with motor/neurological disorders.