The SynPhNe logo symbolizes the coming together of a human beings physical and neural aspects, or synergizing the body and mind aspects. The knot represents the strong and permanent integration of mind and body, as well as their close relationship in mental and physical health. The choice of the type of knot indicates the ease and simplicity of the process, which however needs to be learnt and practiced in a systematic manner.
SynPhNe (an abbreviation for Synergistic Physio Neuro platform) can serve as a technology platform for every medicine system in the world, while being antagonistic to none. It directs the attention to the individual, to make him/her empowered and aware of their own power to retain or regain well being using principles of neuroplasticity and self-regulation, and to call on them to take charge of their own health. That is really the ideal - conscious or unconscious - of every system of medicine.
SynPhNe works with the most fundamental and measurable signals that our body and mind give out continuously, the electrical bio-signals in the muscles, heart and brain. These signals are a treasure trove of knowledge about our own health, resilience to stress, resistance to relaxation and chances of recovery from disability. Once upon a time, reading these signals was a complex issue but technology has now made it possible for anyone to see, read, understand and use these to augment self-regulation and self-healing. It is the new, emerging language of human health, which everyone must learn and benefit from.
The Three Pillar model of sustainable health through empowerment is adapted from the model of sustainable development proposed by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and Dr. S.P. Singh from India. The SynPhNe system has been designed to support all three pillars, namely
● Physical connectivity
● Electronic Connectivity
● Knowledge Connectivity
The wearable SynPhNe device reads electrical activity in the brain, heart and musculature and makes us aware of changes occurring inside our bodies. These signals can be analyzed to understand, monitor and possibly predict pathways to ill-health, disease as well as recovery and well-being. It can be used as a powerful training tool for people to self-manage their health.
Patients or care givers often need the advice of experts, physicians and their friends. Mobile phone connectivity allows us to nowadays reach people in remote locations cheaply and easily via messaging and data. The SynPhNe device is built around a GSM platform to allow you to share information and connect with experts anytime, anywhere.
Empowerment comes from following twin goals in life - Our own growth and the growth of others. This can be facilitated by building and sustaining a community which actively participates and helps each other by information sharing, knowledge creation, discussions and events.
So far technology has successfully attempted to enhance our experience with external communication and interaction with the "external" world, using devices like mobile phones, PDAs and remote controls. However, we humans interact with ourselves many times more than we do with the outside world (Harris, 1998; Taylor, 2009). Evidence from epidemiological studies and clinical trials has demonstrated a positive association between this "inner dialogue", physical fitness and psychological health (Janisse et al, 2004; Chou & Tsang, 2007; Smith et al, 2007; Broman-Fulks & Storey, 2007; Tsang et al, 2008). Communicating with the "internal" world, however, is difficult and takes longer to master for most people.
Technology can today make this easier by using the language of bio-signals which is universal and independent of cultural, political, economic and educational background. The SynPhNe technology platform is a tool that helps us to "see" and "feel" this interaction between our mind and our body, to address key issues of recovery from disability and chronic disorders, ageing and a return to independence.
The SynPhNe Learning Model draws from the scientific principles of developmental biology and neuroscience and practice principles of yoga and martial arts. It highlights that moderation and balance of electrical activity in the brain and muscle is an important pre-requisite or "bridge" between our internal learning and the effect we physically manifest in the external world.
The learning model facilitates a close integration of mind and body in real-time, by enhancing the coupling of attention and muscle co-ordination as an easy, practical method to enhance neuroplasticity. It develops a capability to relax quicker and deeper, helping manage several health risk factors and improve quality of life. In this way, it promotes better performance and quicker learning at lower stress levels.
We combine modern technology and rhythm techniques to bring you to a new level of health! People’s lives revolve around several rhythms -sleeping and waking, working and resting, eating and digesting, burning and synthesizing proteins, inhaling and exhaling, and so on. These rhythms deeply influence our health, well-being and happiness. Some of these rhythms are obvious while some, notably heart, muscle and brain rhythms, are invisible to most of us. These subtle, invisible rhythms impact our more obvious rhythms dramatically.
Knowing how to self-regulate the subtle rhythms is, therefore, the foundation of self-managed health. The SynPhNe technology makes this easier by using the language of bio-signals which is universal.
SynPhNe works with the most immediate and obvious signals that our body and mind give out continuously- the bio-signals in the muscles, heart and brain. These signals are a treasure trove of knowledge about our own health and response to stress, disorders and disease.
Technology has now made it possible for us to see, read, understand and use these signals to augment self-regulation and self-healing. It is the new, emerging language of human health, which everyone must learn and benefit from. The best part is, with training, you can decide how much power you wish to exert over your own wellness and health, using the SynPhNe Way.
The SynPhNe Model combines 3 key elements:
1.A technology based assessment of rhythm blocks in heart-brain-muscle system
2.Use of techniques from yoga, tai chi, strength training and birth fitness to unlearn these blocks
3.Learning of methods to strengthen natural rhythms in daily life
How does the technology work?
The device detects blocks in your natural heart-brain-muscle rhythms. It is simple and safe to use and is done by a trained person. All readings are non-invasive and take about 20 min. Once you know which blocks you need to address first, your roadmap to health becomes clearer.
Learning the methods to strengthen the natural rhythms makes it possible for you to self-regulate the heart-brain-muscle signals and maintain optimum health and relaxation.
About the Workshops
The workshops help you to
Assess your body rhythms using technology
Learn simple techniques to self-regulate and relax, prevent pain, shortness of breath, lack of energy and lack of focus.
The exercises are non-intensive, safe for all age groups and reconnects mind and body.
The first basic workshop is to give you an introduction into the system and learn a few basic methods which you can use on yourself as well as on family and friends.
Duration- 1 day
Come to the SynPhNe & Rhythm Workshop...see it, hear it and experience it for yourself!
Please email us enquiries@SynPhNe.org if you would to attend a workshop.
Energize Workshop in Progress
MPower Workshop in Progress
Workshop in New Delhi, India
SynPhNe is a technology solution which gives unique insights on a person or patient so that therapy can be personalized for faster and fuller recovery at significant cost savings to the patient as well as the health provider.
The Personalized SynPhNe Learning Method
● Brain and body trained as ONE system
● Tailored to regaining independence rather than performing exercises
● Can be administered at home by a family member
● Save therapist time by up to 50% - supervise more than 1 patient at a time
● Save doctor's time by 50% using SynPhNe data
● Free beds space by enabling early discharge
● Save patients time, cost, risk of injury
Clinical studies carried out with stroke afflicted subjects were successful in the key areas outline
Tests carried out with healthy and stroke afflicted subjects were successful in the key areas outlined below:
● It could detect and display incorrect and involuntary muscle contractions during therapy practice, even in the weakest impaired hand.
● It was feasible for mild, moderate and severely impaired patients to receive biofeedback and to use it to "self-correct" to use biomechanically correct muscle groups and make functional gains.
● Recovery in long term stroke patients was superior than manual rehabilitation and comparable to manual rehabilitation in early stroke patients in one of the case controlled studies.
● All healthy and stroke subjects could use the system with a little training. Age groups 7-80 years have used the device.
Click here to read the application of SynPhNe in Stroke afflicted subjects.
The first application for SynPhNe is for the recovery of impaired upper limbs and hands after stroke or injury.
A stroke is an injury to the brain and brain networks. This manifests as physical disability and weakness, loss of cognition, poor balance, slurred speech, incontinence, respiratory difficulty and the like. Thus the nature of disability that the patient has to cope with and recover from is of a complex, neuro-cardio-muscular nature.
In a typical stroke patient, the physical damage is usually only in the brain. The cardiac and muscular systems are under strain but, as such, undamaged physically, as also the neuro-muscular junction. Early intervention in acute phase is delivered through drug therapy and if successful, may result in spontaneous recovery of all functions. Later interventions are more complicated because other conditions such as denervation, muscle wastage, tissue contracture (chronic shortening of soft tissues which may prevent full range of motion) and spasticity, along with more extensive neural degeneration may have set in. Therefore, it is largely acknowledged that the most promising time to activate and accelerate recovery is during the first four weeks after stroke.
USE CASE 1: Leveraging neuroplasticity in Rehabilitation Therapy
Irrespective of etiology, effective therapy must combine attention, action and task performance using the correct muscles, and being able to activate the damaged brain hemisphere without straining the heart. SynPhNe is the only device which allows a patient to monitor all these parameters so that therapy can progress while ensuring patient safety.
SynPhNe uses a video interface to deliver instructions in a pleasant format. The mirror neuron principle is utilized to try to uncover redundant motor networks which may then be strengthened by repetitive practice using biofeedback. Difficulty levels are raised and lowered to ensure the patient performs at his peak without getting discouraged due to failure. Rest periods are automatically incorporated as and when they may be required to revitalize the patient during the session.
Only experienced therapists are able to guide the patient to minimize inappropriate agonist-antagonist co-contraction and muscle use compensation. However, providing a visual real-time biofeedback to the patient is a powerful, well-established modality to encourage self-regulation and self-correction. It amplifies and makes visible minute maladaptations which the patient can self-correct. It also shows incremental progress at the level of the different muscles, thus providing motivation to patients even when improvements in obvious movements or certain functions are not immediately visible. SynPhNe makes this possible by enabling this process through a simple, wearable device.
USE CASE 2: Return to Independence
Brain Relaxation and Perfusion:
Experiments show that certain brain states are indicative of relaxation. Such states also correlate with an increased blood flow to the brain via the pathway of greater dilation of blood vessels. Therefore, very early after stroke, SynPhne may be used to induce such a beneficial effect using a personalized set of protocols.
People with chronic disability carry in their bodies an amplified muscular tension imbalance which, if left unattended, may result in various musculoskeletal disorders, chronic pain and other health issues. A tense muscle is unable to generate much force and manifests as weakness due to poor muscle recruitment, inadequate contraction force, decrease in blood circulation in tissues and high tone which affects range of motion of joints.
SynPhNe measures muscle activity and tension baselines to understand what the person's relaxation challenges are. Using biofeedback for enhancing relaxation is a time tested method to target specific muscle groups for tension release. Along with brain state relaxation, stroke patients can use SynPhNe's dynamic relaxation method to improve tension balance and relaxation in their muscles.
USE CASE 3: Preventive Care
A Brain-Body-Heart Assessment for Preventive Care
Human body composition changes as a result of ageing. With these changes come accompanying changes in physiological and cognitive functions which are so far only partly understood. A change that is being increasingly recognized as having important consequences in old age is the loss of lean tissue, in particular, skeletal muscle mass. Such loss may be due to degenerative conditions or some chronic disease.
Our interpretation of the ageing process may relate to the state of the neural control system, metabolism of muscle, or altered biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system. We try to establish whether any atypical movement pattern we see is actually a primary problem or a necessary adaptation to a primary problem. Possible management or treatment strategies depend on this understanding. Problems emerge early at a bio-signal level as do adaptations or reversal of a primary problem. Healthy ageing dpends on how you identify, correct or reinforce the right bio-signal signatures.
Research now acknowledge that all humans, with disabilities or otherwise, crave self-expression. In the absence of the tools of self-expression, people tend to be depressed, de-motivated, and ultimately have limited productivity. While society is partly responsible for a feeling of isolation among children with learning disabilities, this isolation is enhanced by the child's inability to adjust psychosocially.
One of the most promising methods of expression for children with learning disabilities is through play, both individual and collaborative. The SynPhne platform aims to leverage such play possibilities using real-time brain and muscle signals displayed using cartoon characters. It helps enhance mind-body learning about personal health, self-management and sustainable performance.
SynPhNe aims to empower individuals, care givers and wellness coaches with a tool which gives insight on the individual's mind-body connection by measuring relaxation/tension imbalances, the individual's resistance to and response to stress and the ability to recover from stress stimuli quickly. This insight can facilitate rapid personalization and effective intervention to treat niggling injuries, long term discomfort, low grade pain or reduce risk of chronic disease.
William Kangdra, Indonesia - EEG parameters and triggers
Amogh Raichur, India - Data acquisition and conditioning
Gunadi Wihardjo, Indonesia - BCI and motion control
Marvin, Indonesia - Brain state measurement
Kumudu Gamage, Sri Lanka - Upper limb orthosis design
Dorothy Wi, Singapore - Clinical Studies
M Suresh, India – Factors that activate neuroplasticity and their reflection in EEG signals
Deepali Bhatt, India - Passive and active EMG-EEG based gaming
Shantanu Samajdar, India - Mechanical design and platform engineering
Govi Naidu, Singapore – EEG protocols and experiments for mind states
Tey Ching Sze, Singapore – Development of gel free headset and system integration for biofeedback
Lam Wai Hong, Singapore – Manufacture and testing of prototypes
Tommy Kandra, Indonesia - multi-axis motion control and EMG-EEG-Motion integration
Lee Wei Jie, Singapore – Synphne Rehabilitation System lower limb attachments development
Derek Shim Cheng Tung, Singapore - Synphne Rehabilitation System lower limb attachments development
Nor Aini Binte Ayoub, Singapore – Data analytics on cloud with visualization
National Medical Research Council, Singapore, 2008
Singapore-MIT Alliance SMART, Singapore, 2012
National Research Foundation, Singapore, 2010
SPRING, Singapore, 2010
Nanyang Technological University, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Singapore
National University of Singapore, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Singapore
Harvard Medical School, USA
Tan Tock Seng Hospital Rehabilitation Centre, Singapore
National University Hospital, Singapore
Max Healthcare Institute Limited, New Delhi, India
Spaulding Rehabilitation Centre, Boston, USA
Titus Chia, Singapore - Data acquisition and storage hardware
Clara Yu, Malaysia - Graphic user interface and algorithm programming and testing
Sanka Ravipriya, Sri Lanka - LabView integration and architecture
Avnet Inc., Singapore
Elephant Design, India
Tandem Leap, Singapore
ETM Global Services Pte. Ltd.
Make The Change, Singapore
EDharma Foundation of India, India
Open Iris, India
Studio PAUSE, USA
Dyslexia South Africa
Subhasis Banerji, John Heng, PS Ponvignesh, Daphne D Menezes, 2012. Augmenting rehabilitation after stroke: A flexible platform for combining multi-channel biofeedback with FES, Proceedings of 2012 International Conference on Neurorehabilitation, Toledo, Spain.
Subhasis Banerji, Christopher Kuah, John Heng, Keng He Kong, 2012. A physio-neuro approach to accelerate functional recovery of impaired hand after stroke, 2012. Journal of Procedia Engineering, Vol 41.
Subhasis Banerji, John Heng, Barry Pereira, 2012. Unified EEG/SEMG platform for accelerated recovery of motor function after stroke, accepted for publication at International Society for Electrophysiology and Kinesiology at their Annual Congress, ISEK 2012, Brisbane Australia, July 2012.
Subhasis Banerji, John Heng, Barry Pereira, 2012. Facilitating early onset of therapy after stroke: An Arm Glove design for self-regulation of muscle activation, accepted for publication at International Conference for Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies, iCREATe 2012, July, Singapore.
Subhasis Banerji, John Heng, 2012 Upper Extremity Rehabilitation after Stroke: Biofeedback Gaming for Attention and Muscle Use, accepted for publication at International Conference for Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies, iCREATe 2012, July, Singapore.
Heng, J., Banerji, S., Chapter on "Low Usage of Intelligent Technologies by the Aged: New Initiatives to Bridge the Digital Divide", "Bridging the Grey Digital Divide", Ed. Dr. Jeffrey Soars, IGI Publishers, September, 2010.
Heng, J., Banerji, S., A step towards multi-level human interface devices:A system that responds to EEG/SEMG triggers, International Journal for Biomechatronics and Biomedical Robotics, Vol 1 (2), 93-98, 2010.
Banerji, S., Heng, J., Kangdra, W., New Directions in the Design of UE Robotic Rehabilitation Devices for Stroke Patients, Proceedings of 2nd International Convention for Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology, I-CREATE 2008.
Kangdra, W., Heng, J., Banerji, S., EEG Mind Controlled Systems, Proceedings of 2nd International Convention for Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology, I-CREATE 2008.
Banerji, S., Heng, J., A unified, neuro-physio platform to facilitate collaborative play in children with learning disabilities, Proceedings of the IEEE/ASME International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, ICORR 2009, Kyoto, Japan, June, 2009
Raichur, A., Wihardjo, G., Banerji, S., Heng, J., A step towards home-based robotic rehabilitation: An interface circuit for EEG/SEMG actuated orthosis, Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics, AIM 2009, Singapore, July, 2009.