The Six Minutes Walk Test Plus System

The Six Minute Walk Test Plus (6MWT+) integrates biomechanical sensors into the standard exercise used in hospitals to monitor the evolution of chronic diseases. This project develops and validates the test, which provides clinicians a much more sensitive monitoring of the progression of a disease’s pathology, for treatment optimisation and clinical trials.

The project resulted from the union of partners who had been working in parallel from different points of view, seeking a better tool to monitor the evolution of chronic diseases. DPPE detected the need from the patient point of view and, together with Eurecat, started to work on a technological solution. HSJD and CNMC were already working on corrections of the original 6MWT applied to their patients.

Eurecat coordinates the project and will develop the interface itself from a technological point of view. Hospital Sant Joan de Déu and Copenhagen Neuromuscular Centre will co-lead the evaluation of the system. Genesis Biomed will lead the business development, working with the University of Barcelona and Eurecat. Duchenne Parent Project Spain, a family association, will bring the point of view of the patients and caregivers who will participate in co-design and validation.

The aim of 6MWT+ is to monitor the evolution of a wide range of pathologies affecting mobility, by measuring the biomechanical functionality of patients. The new test will be used to personalise and improve treatments and, ultimately, improve patients’ quality of life. To achieve this challenging goal, a portable system will be designed and developed.

The 6MWT+ project will deploy and validate a solution capable of carrying out a complete gait analysis integrated into the six-minute walk test standard protocol. Unlike the current protocol, or the existing innovations presented to improve it, the 6MWT+ system offers a user-friendly, plug-and-play platform that will complement the standard 6MWT with a complete and objective set of indicators to provide a solid measure of patient status regardless of the person’s motivation, fatigue or level of training.

EIT Health will deliver financial support for development, as well as the training and networking that will help bring the project into the market.

The first pilot is focused on helping patients with the two major neuromuscular disease: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and Myotonic muscular dystrophy, which together impact around 360 000 adults and 56 000 children in Europe. The solution should be scaled to help other patients by addressing further pathologies. Target clients include pharmaceutical companies seeking to increase the monitoring capacity in hospitals for clinical trials or hospitals seeking to optimise treatments.

Why this is an EIT Health project

This project is in keeping with the EIT Health Focus Area of Continuum Care Pathways because it works to shift the emphasis from treatment to prevention and holds out promise of improving treatment by providing earlier diagnosis of neuromuscular diseases.

Sebastian Idelsohn Zielonka
| | eHealth Unit EURECAT