Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Device for palpation of laryngeal elevation and for the non-invasive diagnosis of dysphagia

DisfagiaDysphagiaElevation of the LarynxPhoniatricsSwallowingVideofluoroscopic swallowing


Device for the clinical evaluation in the phoniatric field of the dysfunctions of the swallowing act. The innovation with respect to current diagnostic techniques makes it possible to measure the displacement of the larynx both in the elevation and in the return phase with high accuracy, reliability and repeatability.

Technical features

The device consists of mechanical components aimed at a non-invasive diagnosis and non-exposure of the patient to X-rays and with the aim of applying new clinical protocols in the field of professional and artistic voice disorders. The device mainly consists of a prismatic guide which applies a mechanically adjustable preload to the anatomical reference area of ​​the larynx, known as the crico-thyroid space. The goal is to reproduce the analogous mechanical coupling between the speech therapist’s index finger and the contact surface of the crico-thyroid space during palpation. Subsequently the device was positioned and mechanically coupled with the anatomical landmark of a healthy and voluntary subject by means of a specifically modified rigid orthopaedic collar. During the measurement phase, the video of the movement was acquired and from the processing of the respective frames it is possible to estimate by means of specific software the instantaneous spatial coordinates of two reflective markers affixed to the tip of the device.

Possible Applications

  • Audiology;
  • Phoniatrics;
  • Speech therapy;
  • Otolaryngology.


  • Elimination of the patient’s X-ray exposure;
  • Non-invasive approach;
  • High reliability, accuracy, and reproducibility of the displacement measurement during laryngeal elevation;
  • Easy to use device and possibility of not transferring the patient from the hospital bed (bed side diagnosis);
  • Benefits in terms of management costs.