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SINTEF Applied Cybernetics has, in cooperation with the gait analysis groups at the University in Bergen and St. Olav’s hospital, developed an instrument to determine the quality of a person’s walk.

Muscular or neurological problems, vision or balance impairment have an effect on how a person walks. By measuring and analyzing angles and directional accelerations, the walk pattern of a person can be assessed. This makes it possible to give a precise characterization of a patient’s particular balance problems, and prescribe a targeted training program. The instrument is also useful in order to quantify the effect of the training.

The instrument is placed on the lower back of the patient and transmits real-time motion data wirelessly to a computer. The data is then processed by multiple algorithms that calculate important variables such as the velocity, position and step length of the patient. Finally, all data is presented to the scientists for further analysis.

A Wireless transmitter with two sensors connected to it

A great advantage of this instrument is that it is portable and can be brought out to the patient as opposed to a camera based system which requires a setup in a lab facility. The instrument is currently being tested through clinical experiments.

Contact person at SINTEF Applied Cybernetics: Terje Mugaas