Wireless Wearable System for Gait Evaluation


Motion and gait analyses have a number of applications in the medical field. For example, change in gait over extended time is used in neurological exams to diagnose dementias. Changes in gait over short periods of time may be indicative of a number of conditions, such as the onset of a stroke and progression of congestive heart failure. Continuous monitoring of gait could be useful for physical therapy and rehabilitation. For instance, patients who have undergone knee replacement therapy are advised to place less weight on the corresponding foot; feedback when excessive weight is applied could help prevent re-injury. Gait feedback could also be used for athletic analysis, both to provide complex gait information to elite athletes and to provide real-time exercise feedback and incentives to everyday athletes. Precise gait analysis is currently done in a motion lab; however, these large labs are expensive to maintain and costly to use. We are developing a wireless wearable system that is capable of making many inexpensive measurements. These measurements may have less precision, but may provide more information by collecting data throughout the day in the patient's home environment. Our system will be optimized for gait analysis and for detecting medically relevant gait characteristics.