The objective of the proposed Concerted Action is to integrate basic and applied research on Surface ElectroMyoGraphy (SEMG) at an European level, to establish European co-operation and to solve key items that presently prevent a useful exchange of data and clinical experience. The key items on which the joint efforts will be focused are: (1) the geometrical configuration of sensors, (2) sensor placement procedures, (3) SEMG signal processing and (4) SEMG modelling.
SEMG is a non-invasive technique to assess the muscle, that has come to maturity in the last decade. A broad range of applications of SEMG have been developed in different fields, e.g. during movement analysis for orthopaedic surgery indications, for diagnosis and follow-up of (slowly changing) neuromuscular disorders, evaluation of rehabilitation treatment and ergonomic studies in occupational health. The key reason for the rapidly growing interest of clinicians and scientists is that SEMG provides an easy to use non-invasive tool to assess the muscle. However the techniques and methods presently applied have largely been developed in local laboratories and in non standard ways, making exchange of data useless.
This Concerted Action will bring together, for the first time, the experts of the best European groups working on technical developments and clinical applications of SEMG. The objectives will be reached by the building of a research network and the organisation of general and topical workshops in order to exchange knowledge and to discuss on different approaches concerning the key topics.
By using questionnaires inventories will be made of the used methods, scientific knowledge and clinical experience present in the main settings in Europe. Different approaches will be compared, discussed and merged into recommendations for standardisation. These results will be disseminated to all clinical and technical labs as well as to industries active in this field. Industries will be invited to participate in the workshops in order to facilitate the standardisation process and enabling an easy transfer of knowledge.
This standardisation effort will result in a laboratory independence of the results of patient assessments, facilitate European normative databases and teleconsulting, and enhance industrial activity at an European scale.