The Dexterit-E 3.7.0 release brings many improvements for usability, task development, and normative modeling. We are thrilled to be able to deliver such a long list of tangible improvements! Some enhancements of special note are:
KINARM Standard Tests Enhancements
Improvements to Normative Modeling; Normative Models Account for Sex and Handedness
In Dexterit-E 3.7.0 we have extensively reworked our normative modeling process resulting in a significantly more robust comparison to our modeled healthy behaviour. (Note these are the same enhancements recently released in Dexterit-E Explorer 1.4.) In Dexterit-E 3.6.1, we stopped accounting for sex and handedness effects to help reduce modeling errors that were introduced by splitting data sets into small sample sizes. As promised in September 2016, we have now developed our long-term solution, which avoids the problems of modeling errors introduced by dataset splitting.
The new modeling process not only allows us to re-introduce sex and handedness effects into our normative models, but also reduces modeling errors over previous versions. The impact of these changes for a given Z-score was quantified. For Z-scores of ~1.64, the mean of the standard deviation of Z-score changes from analysis version 3.6 to 3.7, across all parameters, was 0.31 (i.e. typically the change will be less than 0.31).
In addition to a new modeling process, we have significantly increased the number of subjects in several of our normative databases and added modeling for the new KINARM Exoskeleton released in 2016.
These methods and our verification process are documented in detail in both the Dexterit-E User Guide, and our new KINARM Standard Tests Summary. This latter guide is available publicly on our website. To ensure correct representation of our methods, we encourage you to cite the KINARM Standard Tests Summary in your manuscripts as: KINARM Standard Tests (collection version XXX, analysis version YYY, BKIN Technologies Ltd., Kingston,ON, Canada).
Child versions of KINARM Standard Tests
All of the KINARM Standard Tests have had child versions added where appropriate. The child versions of the task are designed to reflect the smaller arm size of children between the ages of 5 and 18. The exams can be analyzed with Dexterit-E, however, normative models are not yet available (they will be provided in a future release).
Updates to enable assessments with severely impaired subjects
The Ball on Bar protocol has been modified to allow the operator to move the subject to the start location.
Various parameters in Ball on Bar, Reverse Visually Guided Reaching, Trail Making and Visually Guided Reaching have been updated to enable calculation of Task Scores with severely impaired subjects.
Dexterit-E User Interface Enhancements
Previous versions of Dexterit-E allowed the creation of a study mask. The study mask would force the Standard tasks and Custom tasks tabs to hide or show specific tasks based upon the current subject’s study. In this release we have further developed this feature, but now refer to it as a Study Protocol. The key differences are:
- There is now a Study tab that shows the tasks associated with a Study Protocol.
- You can set the order of the tasks in the study protocol.
- You can add notes to the operator for each task (e.g. “Run on dominant arm” in the study protocol).
- The same task may appear more than once in the Study Protocol.
- The tasks available in the Standard tasks and Custom tasks tabs are no longer changed based on the current subject’s study.
KINARM Labs that have an existing study mask will automatically have the study mask converted to a Study Protocol the first time Dexterit-E 3.7 is run. It is recommended that you edit your new study protocols in order to take advantage of the new features noted above.
Integrated Data Back-up
It is now possible to set a back-up location for your data. The back-up location can be on a local hard drive, USB connected hard drive, or remote network storage. Once set-up, each time you exit Dexterit-E, all of your newly collected data will be copied to the back-up location.
Dexterit-E computers with part number 13950 (purchased in Fall 2017 or later), have a secondary local hard drive installed that can be used as the back-up location.
Improved Task Status Information
The Task status panel in Dexterit-E has been changed to show relevant information in a clearer way. The new interface shows:
- Current TP row
- Current trial number in the exam / total trials expected in the exam
- Current trial number in the block / total trials expected in the block
- Current block row
- Current block number in the exam / total blocks in the exam.
- Time elapsed
- Time remaining (if implemented in the task).
Enhanced Task Event Codes
When task event codes are defined in a task it is possible for the task programmer to set a colour for displaying the task event code. When the task sends the task event code to be recorded, the Event history window will colour the task event code appropriately. Also, new delimiters have been added to the Event history window to indicate when new trials start.
Task Protocol Editing Updates
When creating or editing a task protocol, several new options have been added:
- 50 Hz data saving.
- The ability to disable the pause button.
- Global coordinate frame of reference for the KINARM Exoskeleton.
As well as these new options, the tables (target, load, TP, block and analog channels) have all been expanded for better visibility.
Task Development Enhancements
Displaying Targets to the Subject (VCODEs)
VCODEs have seen extensive enhancements including:
- Support for polygons (up to 25 sides)
- Support for paths (connected lines) with up to 25 segments.
- Support for repeat targets (up to 25 repeats) – a single VCODE to show a target with the same properties in many locations, e.g. show up to 25 green 1 cm radius circles with a single VCODE.
- The number of simultaneous VCODEs that can be drawn has increased from 50 to 200.
- Background targets can now be set at approximately 60 Hz instead of 30 Hz.
- An extensive section has been added to the Task Programming Guide to help with manually editing VCODEs.
- Added 13-Aug-18: New sample tasks are available to help you take advantage of these features:
Variable Size Tables
It is now possible to change the number of rows available in the target, load and trial protocol tables from the default values. It is also possible to change the maximum number of task wide parameters. These changes can be made by the task programmer from the GUI Control block in Simulink. The number of rows for the tables or entries for task wide parameters can be set to any number between 10 and 2000.
A new version of the MATLAB Analysis scripts provided by BKIN is required in order to read exams recorded with Dexterit-E 3.7. The scripts are available on the BKIN Support web site at:
The scripts are fully backwards compatible with data collected from all versions of Dexterit-E.
MATLAB: Dexterit-E 3.7.0 removes support for MATLAB 2010a.
Windows® OS: Because Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows XP, Dexterit-E 3.7 will be the last version that supports “GUI computers” (now “Dexterit-E computers”) running on the Windows XP operating system. Impacted users are those who purchased their GUI computer prior to 2012.