Form 9.B Project Summary

Chron: 971821

Proposal Number: 10.03-9770

Project Title: Non-Invasive Method for Assessment of Human Fine Motor Control

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

VeriFax proposes to develop a biometric instrument to monitor human fine motor control. Through non-invasive action of signing a signature or reproducing cursive symbols, the device can measure and record an individual's motor skill characteristics. The designers have focused on how a person writes as opposed to how writing looks. Any two signals which represent repeated realization of the same handwriting samples are compared with use of the VeriFax's proprietary technology in order to provide characteristics of stability, smoothness, and synchronization of the handwriting movements. The method uses a new approach for Correlation Function Analysis applied to behavioral signals, such as handwriting


A prototype unit based on digitized grid non-instrumented pen configuration will be built and tested. An experiment on the effect of environmentally induced variations in stress level will be performed. The experimental study will determine if the level of stress experienced by college students throughout an academic semester is correlated with changes in handwriting dynamics. resumably, as stress increases, handwriting motor skills should deteriorate.

The device might be used as an early warning tool bringing attention to causes that may result in neurological impediment, or risks to health, or performance ability. NASA applications include:

- Early detection of the cognitive and motor skill decline as a result of low concentrations of inhaled toxic compounds, oxygen depletion, or sustained and intense stress. - Assessment of countermeasures developed to prevent deleterious changes in neuromuscular coordination and loss of muscle mass.

High accuracy, simplicity, portability, and low power consumption of the device will make it a valuable tool for monitoring well-being of astronauts in long-duration space missions.

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

The instrument has great potential for the following commercial applications:

- Assessment of motor skill deterioration as a result of environmentally induced stress will be used for 1) design of methods for identification of high risk stress level; 2) development of stress management programs at schools and other settings; 3) optimal scheduling of continuous hours and breaks on production assembly lines, or other demanding work environments.

- Assessment of motor skill impairment caused by decline in muscle mass will be used for design and monitoring of strength training programs for older adults to increase their activities and the quality of life.

- Non-intrusive screening of professionals for alcohol/drug impairment where public safety is a concern; further research of mechanisms of intoxication and identification of individual high risk factors; monitoring people with alcohol/drug abuse problems going through treatment programs.

Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Dr. Ruth Shrairman




Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


Dr. Ruth Shrairman

VeriFax Corporation

7783 Cornwall Circle

Boulder , CO 80301