The deep tendon reflex examination is a complicated assessment that requires skill and accuracy. Superficial and deep tendon reflexes can be difficult to hit accurately and with a sufficient amount of force. It is very importance that the reflex hammers strike force is the same (or close to the same) on both sides of the body when monitoring the difference in response. Additionally, it can be complicated to ensure that the impact is truly hitting the tendon and not bone or muscle. These considerations are fundamental to our product design, which is why we chose to build this as an addition to the typical MDF queen square hammer. As we continue to develop, we hope to incorporate additional instantaneous feedback mechanisms for determining if impact occurs on a bone, muscle, fat tissue, or tendon. We think this could be powerful for improving clinical outcomes and providing better patient outcomes.
In order to be improving clinician confidence during deep tendon reflex examinations, instantaneous clinical examination feedback is needed from both the tools being used, and the patient. We have embedded LED lights on the base of the RFX Hammer's head piece as a way to provide bedside clinical examination feedback. In our early testing phases with physicians beta testing the tool, there was feedback that patients seemed to be more engaged in the testing due to the lights. They found the device to be very interesting. Improving patient satisfaction during clinical assessments is important as more engaged patients, that care about their health, tend to lead to better patient outcomes.