The number of patients with dysphagia is rapidly increasing due to the ageing of the population. Therefore, the importance of objectively assessing swallowing function has received increasing attention. Videofluoroscopy and videoendoscopy are the standard clinical examinations for dysphagia, but these techniques are not suitable for daily use because of their invasiveness. Here, we aimed to develop a novel, non-invasive method for measuring swallowing function using a motion tracking system, the Kinect v2 sensor. Five males and five females with normal swallowing function participated in this study. We defined three mouth-related parameters and two larynx-related parameters and recorded data from 2.5 seconds before to 2.5 seconds after swallowing onset. Changes in mouth-related parameters were observed before swallowing and reached peak values at the time of swallowing. In contrast, larynx-related parameters showed little change before swallowing and reached peak values immediately after swallowing. This simple swallow tracking system (SSTS) successfully quantified the swallowing process from the oral phase to the laryngeal phase. This SSTS is non-invasive, wireless, easy to set up, and simultaneously measures the dynamics of swallowing from the mouth to the larynx. We propose the SSTS for use as a novel and non-invasive swallowing assessment tool in the clinic.
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