FRAME stands for Facial Remote Activity Monitoring Eyewear.
What is the purpose of the study?
The purpose of the study is to develop a device in the form of a pair of glasses which will allow people living with facial palsy to carry out their exercises more easily. Many people with facial palsy struggle with exercises to control involuntary facial movements, (synkinesis), and relax tight facial muscles for many reasons. Firstly, exercise regimes require people to look in the mirror in order to learn how to relax a muscle or stop involuntary movements. Many people dislike using the mirror, as their reflection reminds them of their condition. Secondly, people find it difficult to consistently set aside time to carry out their exercises. Thirdly, mirror feedback does not tell you whether you are exercising correctly. All these issues create barriers to exercising in front of the mirror which may mean that people do not achieve their optimum outcome through lack of adherence to their treatment programme.
How will this new device help?
The device will look like an ordinary pair of glasses which the person wears. There will be inbuilt sensors telling them about the muscle tone in surrounding muscles. It will send a signal to the wearer if a muscle becomes tight or contracts, prompting the person to relax. It overcomes the need to use the mirror, set aside specific time for exercises and, because feedback is immediate, the person will know whether they are doing their exercise correctly.
What happens to the results of the study?
The aim is to publish the results in a medical journal and to be presented at national and international conferences, in order that our work is highlighted to the medical community as widely as possible. Links to publications will be sent to all participants involved in any aspect of the research.
The project has been supported by The National Institute of Health research. The project leader is Mr. Charles Nduka, (Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon). Other stakeholders include Facial Palsy UK, Emteq Limited, Nottingham Trent University and Queen Victoria Hospital.
How can I get involved?
The easiest way to be kept updated about FRAME and other research projects is to join our community. It is free to join, remember to select the E-newsletters and Research options when you complete the form.
Last reviewed: 29-05-2017 || Next review due: 29-05-2019