Researchers from the University of Central Lancashire are working on the technology called sound technology to monitor the progression of osteoarthritis. They listen to the patient's knee by using a hand held device by a technique called acoustic emission. This technique was originally used by engineers to detect unsafe buildings and bridges. The knee gives out high-frequency noises when they rub against a rough surface. By analyzing the sound the physicians would be able to assess whether arthritis is worsening or responding to therapy. They high frequency sound are difficult to be detected by the human ear.
By differentiating the difference in the sound generated by the arthritic knee and that of the healthy knee using acoustic emission then it will be easy to give any treatment for the patient. Lead researcher Professor John Goodacre said that clinicians should have access to safe, convenient and reliable tools for measuring accurately if a patient's arthritis is deteriorating or improving. Though conventional use of ultrasound and MRI are increasingly they are expensive and not easily accessible to most clinicians. On the other hand this technique is convenient, non-invasive and makes use of a portable tool. Professor Goodacre said that this new technique would completely revolutionize current practice of detecting, monitoring and measuring arthritis.