Technology Enhancements in Treating Depressive Disorders Using Magnetic Stimulation

Iman Kalaji & Hagir Elhadari
supervised by Dr. K. Umapathy, Dr. S. Krishnan, Dr. J. Downar

Originated and supported by the collaborative efforts of Dr. J. Downar, Toronto Western Hospital.

A neuropsychiatric clinic end-user is using repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation rTMS image-guided device in treating depressive disorders. The rapid technological advancements to this new technique have led to both system adjustments and an increasing demand. Limitations of the current clinical routine can be seen with respect to two areas: the calibration of new treatment coils, and the patient information management system; limitations in which the current project is aimed to minimize, through engineering solutions. This project aims at designing and implementing, and evaluating a customized rTMS coil calibration board for position tracking, adapted from existing commercially available hardware, for accurate positioning of new-generation rTMS coils during treatment, and wireless transmission of patient data and study parameters from a tablet-based system to a central database. The design of the coil calibration board consists of an acrylic sheet base and a set of trays that can hold different coil shapes. The base includes a tray track, a fastening system, and accurately positioned IR reflectors. It is also supplied with an electronic sensing system that is capable of determining the optimal coil position and provides a visual clue (LED) to indicate that. The software solution is portable, java-based, and implemented in a windows 7 platform. The application is run on a pen-supported tablet, for a simple paper-like interface. Supported functions include the management of patient profiles, generating forms to be filled by patients electronically, exporting treatment parameters from USB interface, wireless transmission of forms and patient information to/from database, creating ".pdf" form summaries and ".xls" statistics. Those solutions were then tested and evaluated against a number of criteria using real clinical settings and simulated experiments. The calibration board resulted in an accurate coil positioning with an acceptable weight and operation simplicity. The main advantage of the software solution was reducing the error and time required for data entry and cost of operation, compared to paper-based existing system.

Project targeted applications: