A Training System for Swallowing Ability by Visualizing the Throat Position

  • Nagisa MatsumotoEmail author
  • Chihiro Suzuki
  • Koji Fujita
  • Yuta SugiuraEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11582)


Our ability to swallow tends to decrease as we grow older. One reason for this is dysphagia, a condition that makes it difficult to swallow food well and causes malnutrition or food aspiration in severe cases. Therefore, preventing dysphagia is important in terms of maintaining quality of life. One way to prevent dysphagia is by using a throat raising exercise whereby we train our own throat muscles by consciously moving the throat. However, throat raising can be difficult because it is hard to see the motion of our own throat. In this work, we developed a system that helps users to move their own throat consciously. We designed a wearable device to visualize larynx position and a game to enhance user motivation. The proposed device measures the distance between skin surface and photo-reflective sensors and estimates the position of the larynx by means of a support vector machine. Experimental results showed that our proposed system can accurately estimate throat motion and that four out of five participants improved their ability to keep their throat in a high position for a long time by playing our proposed game. In future work, we will consider a system that can improve not only the muscle strength of the throat but also the comprehensive swallowing function.


Exercise Wearable sensor Gamification 



This work was supported by JST AIP-PRISM JPMJCR18Y2 and JST PRESTO JPMJPR17J4.


  1. 1.
    2018 vital statistics in Japan trends up to (2016). Accessed 20 July 2018
  2. 2.
    Taniguchi, H., Magara, J., Inoue, M.: Dysphagia of the elderly. J. Jpn. Soc. Parenter. Enteral Nutr. 28(5), 1069–1074 (2013)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Feng, X., et al.: Aging-related geniohyoid muscle atrophy is related to aspiration status in healthy older adults. J. Gerontol. A Biol. Sci. Med. Sci. 68(7), 753–760 (2012)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    The Japanese society of dysphagia rehabilitation medical review committee, summary of training aid (version 2014). Jpn. Soc. Dysphagia Rehabil. 18(1), 55–89 (2014)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Uranagase, A.: Swallowing Ability Prevent 90% of Aspiration Pneumonia. Kadokawa, Japan (2017)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Zhang, R., et al.: A generic sensor fabric for multi-modal swallowing sensing in regular upper-body shirts. In: ISWC 2016 Proceedings of the ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers, pp. 12–16. ACM, Heidelberg (2016)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Iizuka, M., Kobayashi, M., Hasegawa, Y., Tomita, K., Takeshima, R., Izumizaki, M.: A new flexible piezoelectric pressure sensor array for the noninvasive detection of laryngeal movement during swallowing. J. Physiol. Sci. 68(6), 837–846 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    GOKURI. Accessed 20 July 2018
  9. 9.
    FUJIFILM ultrasonic diagnostic imaging apparatus SonoSite M-Tubo. Accessed 26 Dec 2018
  10. 10.
    Shimizu, S., et al.: Retest reliability of ultrasonic geniohyoid muscle measurement. Jpn. J. Compr. Rehabil. Sci. 7, 55–60 (2016)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Taketani, M., et al.: Evaluation of swallowing function using non-contact device of the Microsoft Kinect in healthy subjects. J. Health Sci. 14, 103–113 (2017)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Takahashi, A., et al.: A study on the cervical outline detection method for measuring laryngeal movement -detection of differences in food textures-. J. Meikai Dent. Med. 44(1), 92–97 (2015)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sato, M., et al.: Training of laryngeal elevation for elderly people using a visual biofeedback of larynx movement. Jpn. Soc. Dysphagia Rehabil. 18(1), 22–29 (2014)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ando, T., et al.: A training game to improve oral function via a non-contact tongue-mouth-motion detection system. In: Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces (AVI 2018), 26, 8 p. ACM, New York (2018)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Inoue, T., Ohsuga, M.: Development and assessment of serious games for elderly aimed at preventing dysphagia. Jpn. J. Ergon. 50 Spec. Number, 166–167 (2014)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Yasu, K., Inami, M.: Silent humming: a digital humming producing system using unvoiced sounds and throat motion. Laval Virtual (2012)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Sakashita, M., Minagawa, T., Koike, A., Suzuki, I., Kawahara, K., Ochiai, Y.: You as a puppet: evaluation of telepresence user interface for puppetry. In: Proceedings of the 30th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST 2017), pp 217–228. ACM, New York (2017)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hirai, H., Honda, K., Fujimoto, I., Shimada, Y.: Analysis of magnetic resonance images on the physiological mechanisms of fundamental frequency control. J. Acoust. Soc. Jpn. 50(4), 296–304 (1994)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Keio UniversityMinatoJapan
  2. 2.Tokyo Medical and Dental UniversityBunkyoJapan
  3. 3.JST PRESTOTokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations