Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Electrical and electronic engineering, Health-related biotechnology

Publication Details

In Advances in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Slovakia), Vol. 3, no.2, May 2004, pp.209-212. Also presented at Elektro '04, University of Zilina, Slovakia, May 25-26, 2004.


We present a system designed to study the pressure at various ‘hot spots’ on the back of the body and the deformation of the spine experienced by a patient when strapped to a spinal board, and the potential alleviation of both by the addition of an inflatable “spinal raft” (or other similar device). In measuring pressure we devised a system of air-filled sacks interfaced with a PC. Each sack, placed under a particular key point on the body, is inflated until its faces just begin to separate and a switch thereby opens. The pressure reading is then captured and displayed by the computer. Seeking a non-invasive method of measuring the curvature of the vertebral column, we discovered that we could use a magnetometer to measure the vertical displacement of magnetically-tagged vertebrae from a fixed horizontal plane. The results of our study will be employed by an independent body to determine the merits or demerit of the spinal raft.