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  • Portable Gait Analysis Tool

    I am looking for a portable gait analysis tool that I can take offsite with me to elderly communities, patient's houses, etc. The three that I have found on the Internet are:

    - iDEEA LifeGait System (www.portablegaitlab.com)
    - APDM Mobility Lab (www.apdm.com)
    - Mcroberts MoveTest (www.Mcroberts.nl)

    I am familiar with force plate technology (use daily) and video motion capture (never used), but those two systems, although well liked in the PT community, are too cumbersome to carry around with me offsite. Has anyone used one of the three that I listed, or can recommend a simple, lightweight solution for what I am looking for.

    Please email me directly or reply to this thread. Thanks.

    Mark

  • #2
    Re: Portable Gait Analysis Tool

    Mark

    These systems are either single triaxial accelerometers, or inertial sensor units. The question really relates to what it is about gait you are interested in. The information regarding 'movement analysis' with these systems is much reduced (3-axis of acceleration and 2 'tilt') compared to a video system unless you opt for lots of sensors.

    If you know what information you want and for what body parts then a bespoke system can be constructed for your specific application - this means you are able to select the limitations.

    I use 'H-scientific' an engineering company that specialises in bespoke solutions using these 'portable' sensors. Hope that helps.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Portable Gait Analysis Tool

      Let's try this again....sorry if I duplicate the post, I am new to this forum and my most recent response did not show up in this thread.

      Thanks for the response Jonathan.

      I am aware that IMU technology is less robust than video motion capture, but I am will to sacrifice some metrics for portability and easy use. I don't want to have to spend a half an hour per subject using marker balls, or pay for transporting a patient to my facility to use a Gaitrite or other force plates. I am looking to obtain standard gait metrics like stride length, duration, velocity, gait asymmetry, turning metrics, and postural sway. APDM claims to obtain these metrics with their Mobility system, but I have never seen it in use, so it is hard for me trust the validity of algorithms. They are well published, but this technology is not my area of expertise, so I wanted to ask this forum because you all seem to understand it better than myself. Has anyone used, seen, or heard of APDM's mobility system? Or any competing system that automatically calculates these metrics? I am not an engineer, so raw data is gibberish to me.

      I checked out H-Scientific but was unable to find anything regarding human movement....

      Mark
      Last edited by Mark Johnson; April 28, 2011, 01:36 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Portable Gait Analysis Tool

        Originally posted by mj_pt View Post
        Let's try this again....sorry if I duplicate the post, I am new to this forum and my most recent response did not show up in this thread.

        Thanks for the response Jonathan.

        I am aware that IMU technology is less robust than video motion capture, but I am will to sacrifice some metrics for portability and easy use. I don't want to have to spend a half an hour per subject using marker balls, or pay for transporting a patient to my facility to use a Gaitrite or other force plates. I am looking to obtain standard gait metrics like stride length, duration, velocity, gait asymmetry, turning metrics, and postural sway. APDM claims to obtain these metrics with their Mobility system, but I have never seen it in use, so it is hard for me trust the validity of algorithms. They are well published, but this technology is not my area of expertise, so I wanted to ask this forum because you all seem to understand it better than myself. Has anyone used, seen, or heard of APDM's mobility system? Or any competing system that automatically calculates these metrics? I am not an engineer, so raw data is gibberish to me.

        I checked out H-Scientific but was unable to find anything regarding human movement....

        Mark
        How "Macgyvered" are you comfortable with a setup being? With a handful of consumer-level video cameras (HD or otherwise) with tripods, an LED for synchronizing, a 64-point calibration cube, a free MATLAB script, some markers and some gullible undergrad to digitize manually, you can have a portable setup that'll give 3-D positions of each marker (which I assume some sort of mo-cap software can deal with for what you want).

        I've used systems like the above (either in 2-D or 3-D) effectively for kinematics in frogs, snakes, brittle stars, and rats, both in labs and at field stations, so I can't see why it wouldn't work for a human - probably even better since humans are so large (better relative accuracy), slow, and they respond to directions rather just trying to run away or bite you (usually).

        Cheers,
        Henry

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Portable Gait Analysis Tool

          Mark

          B&L Engineering makes and sells a portable gait analysis system called the Stride Analyzer. The latest version is wireless. This PC-based system accurately measures gait characteristics such as velocity, cadence, stride length, gait cycle duration, and gait asymmetry index. It can also compute left and right swing, stance, single and double support. Footswitches are used to detect foot/floor contact. Five pairs of Footswitches in various sizes are included with each system. The footswitches are connected to small transmitters the are attached to the patient's ankles. The Transmitters detect footswitch changes and transmit those changes while the patient walks along a measured walkway. The system comes with Stride Analyzer software for Microsoft Windows and a complete user manual. A Microsoft compatible computer is required but not included. The whole system comes in a carrying case that is 14" x 12" x 6" and weighs less than 10 pounds. Check their web site at www.bleng.com.

          Lee Barnes

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Portable Gait Analysis Tool

            Originally posted by hastley89 View Post
            How "Macgyvered" are you comfortable with a setup being? With a handful of consumer-level video cameras (HD or otherwise) with tripods, an LED for synchronizing, a 64-point calibration cube, a free MATLAB script, some markers and some gullible undergrad to digitize manually, you can have a portable setup that'll give 3-D positions of each marker (which I assume some sort of mo-cap software can deal with for what you want).

            I've used systems like the above (either in 2-D or 3-D) effectively for kinematics in frogs, snakes, brittle stars, and rats, both in labs and at field stations, so I can't see why it wouldn't work for a human - probably even better since humans are so large (better relative accuracy), slow, and they respond to directions rather just trying to run away or bite you (usually).

            Cheers,
            Henry
            Hmm. Not really all that Macgyvery to tell you the truth, Henry. I'm a physical therapist, not an engineer, so I am looking for an out-of-the box solution that quick, robust, and portable. I am trying to avoid cameras and marker balls all together, since then take 15-30 minutes per subject to set up and then who knows how long to run a trial and derive metrics. With IMU technology, you can set up, run multiple trials, and generate reports (allegedly) in 5-10 minutes per subject. I want to be efficient when I am off sight. Again, although video motion capture can give you 3d kinematic data, it's not what I am looking for. I want simple gait metrics as described in my previous posts. I am a simpleton in (probably) most of your eyes, but thank you for your creative solutions. I appreciate it, and strongly encourage a discussion to create a portable gait analysis system, I know a lot of people who want a product like this.

            M

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Portable Gait Analysis Tool

              You can think about Electromagnetic 3D Motion Trackers. They are:
              1-Portable.
              2-Plug and play.
              3-No line-of-sight or lighting conditions/background constraints
              4-Provide 6DOF motion data per sensor in real-time
              You have to take into account metallic distortion though. Large metallic objects should not be around your capture space, not a tough task I believe, as you can do capture in any outdoor space. Resolution and range is limited in comparison to Optical Motion Capture Systems.
              You will also need Gait Analysis/modelling software like Visual3D, that has real-time motion data streaming capability for most of the Motion Trackers. This will set you up and running with Inverse Kinematics modelling and analysis. If you need forces/torques and EMG data also, you will need portable Force platforms like Kistler 9260 and a 16 or more channel data acquisition system. This will provide you portable, an easy to set up, comprehensive Inverse Kinematics/Dynamics modeling and Analysis Platform.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Portable Gait Analysis Tool

                Originally posted by lbarnes19 View Post
                Mark

                B&L Engineering makes and sells a portable gait analysis system called the Stride Analyzer. The latest version is wireless. This PC-based system accurately measures gait characteristics such as velocity, cadence, stride length, gait cycle duration, and gait asymmetry index. It can also compute left and right swing, stance, single and double support. Footswitches are used to detect foot/floor contact. Five pairs of Footswitches in various sizes are included with each system. The footswitches are connected to small transmitters the are attached to the patient's ankles. The Transmitters detect footswitch changes and transmit those changes while the patient walks along a measured walkway. The system comes with Stride Analyzer software for Microsoft Windows and a complete user manual. A Microsoft compatible computer is required but not included. The whole system comes in a carrying case that is 14" x 12" x 6" and weighs less than 10 pounds. Check their web site at www.bleng.com.

                Lee Barnes
                Thanks for the information Lee. The problem with using only foot sensors is that I cannot obtain postural, turning, or arm swing data, which are all integral to gait analysis. Thanks though.

                Mat

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Portable Gait Analysis Tool

                  Originally posted by msingh27 View Post
                  You can think about Electromagnetic 3D Motion Trackers. They are:
                  1-Portable.
                  2-Plug and play.
                  3-No line-of-sight or lighting conditions/background constraints
                  4-Provide 6DOF motion data per sensor in real-time
                  You have to take into account metallic distortion though. Large metallic objects should not be around your capture space, not a tough task I believe, as you can do capture in any outdoor space. Resolution and range is limited in comparison to Optical Motion Capture Systems.
                  You will also need Gait Analysis/modelling software like Visual3D, that has real-time motion data streaming capability for most of the Motion Trackers. This will set you up and running with Inverse Kinematics modelling and analysis. If you need forces/torques and EMG data also, you will need portable Force platforms like Kistler 9260 and a 16 or more channel data acquisition system. This will provide you portable, an easy to set up, comprehensive Inverse Kinematics/Dynamics modeling and Analysis Platform.
                  Manvendra,

                  This is really interesting technology, but there are a couple of disadvantages for using this system from your explanation. I do not want to shuttle people outside to use this technology and purchasing Visual3D is very expensive and does not give me gait metrics in a simple report. I am not looking for a 3D model of a subject, but rather just simple data like stride length, arm swing velocity, etc. Sorry for the confusion, but thanks for the information anyways.

                  Mark
                  Last edited by Mark Johnson; May 4, 2011, 01:15 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Portable Gait Analysis Tool

                    Mat,
                    The reference about outside was just to mention the capability, so that chance of metallic distortion are avoided. It doesn't mean that it can not be used inside. In fact most of the current users of these systems use it in indoor, Lab environments. Moreover, no drift, as you would encounter in IMU Technology. Visual3D is optional anyway. You can put sensors at specific locations of interest and simply import 6DOF Motion data in ASCII format in a spreadsheet, if Inverse Kinematics/Dynamics modelling and analysis is not needed. Visual 3D outputs whatever metrics you need in your reports, simple or complex.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Portable Gait Analysis Tool

                      Originally posted by mj_pt View Post
                      Let's try this again....sorry if I duplicate the post, I am new to this forum and my most recent response did not show up in this thread.

                      Thanks for the response Jonathan.

                      I am aware that IMU technology is less robust than video motion capture, but I am will to sacrifice some metrics for portability and easy use. I don't want to have to spend a half an hour per subject using marker balls, or pay for transporting a patient to my facility to use a Gaitrite or other force plates. I am looking to obtain standard gait metrics like stride length, duration, velocity, gait asymmetry, turning metrics, and postural sway. APDM claims to obtain these metrics with their Mobility system, but I have never seen it in use, so it is hard for me trust the validity of algorithms. They are well published, but this technology is not my area of expertise, so I wanted to ask this forum because you all seem to understand it better than myself. Has anyone used, seen, or heard of APDM's mobility system? Or any competing system that automatically calculates these metrics? I am not an engineer, so raw data is gibberish to me.

                      I checked out H-Scientific but was unable to find anything regarding human movement....

                      Mark
                      Mark

                      Having read these posts it is indeed interesting to note the recommendations offered. I think you need to think about what and how. What do you want to measure and how do you think this is best achieved. For example some of the systems mentioned measure cadence using some sort of sole pressure technology, however some of them measure this variable using accelerometers attached to the shin (for example). Overall I think it would be a good idea to think about the variables and be clear about what they mean and how they are measured with the various systems as this may guide the choice of which technology fits your brief best. You may then feel that instead of paying lots for techology that measures everything under the sun or for a system that measures things which aren't quite right to you as a clinician you may feel a bespoke solution would be the way forward. If so you should contact Dr. Robinson directly at H-scientific (their biomech website is not available currently) for a system perfectly suited to you. Hope that helps.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Portable Gait Analysis Tool

                        Originally posted by msingh27 View Post
                        Mat,
                        The reference about outside was just to mention the capability, so that chance of metallic distortion are avoided. It doesn't mean that it can not be used inside. In fact most of the current users of these systems use it in indoor, Lab environments. Moreover, no drift, as you would encounter in IMU Technology. Visual3D is optional anyway. You can put sensors at specific locations of interest and simply import 6DOF Motion data in ASCII format in a spreadsheet, if Inverse Kinematics/Dynamics modelling and analysis is not needed. Visual 3D outputs whatever metrics you need in your reports, simple or complex.
                        First of all, thank you very much for the very interesting discussion.
                        I just would like to give more precision to the discussion, since we always have to consider which kind of system output (and how this can be used to calculate clinical outcome) we are interested in. From that, we can then discuss about the accuracy of different systems.
                        In particular, with the technology available at the current time it is possible to get drift-free 3D orientation in space using IMU technology. This means that all the clinical parameters which can be created from this information (joint angle kinematics is the first) could be calculated with high accuracy using portable IMU-based systems, provided that the clinical protocol adopted is also accurate and reliable. By fusing this output (orientation in space) with the outputs from sensors in the IMU (accelaration and angular velocity) more parameters can be accurately calculated. When we talk about "absolute position" in space then drift-free is not the correct term anymore, unless further technology is fused together.
                        Of course, to have IMU-based systems working in clinical settings (let's say a complete analysis in 30 minutes) is another story and a challenge for the future.

                        As support to the above, I would suggest to read the following papers:


                        A protocol named Outwalk was developed to easily measure the thorax-pelvis and lower-limb 3D kinematics on children with cerebral palsy (CP) and amputees during gait in free-living conditions, by means of an Inertial and Magnetic Measurement System (IMMS). Outwalk defines the anatomical/functional c …


                        Thanks again for the interesting topic.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Portable Gait Analysis Tool

                          Hi Mark

                          you also can try Xsens products. I has many packages of products for biomechanics field. I have not any experience working with them. Have a look at their website: www.xsens.com

                          Regards,
                          Sina

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Portable Gait Analysis Tool

                            I would use a couple of Kinects. Simple, small cost, easy to use... Sw has to be developed on purpose.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Portable Gait Analysis Tool

                              Originally posted by sibasina View Post
                              Hi Mark

                              you also can try Xsens products. I has many packages of products for biomechanics field. I have not any experience working with them. Have a look at their website: www.xsens.com

                              Regards,
                              Sina
                              Sina,

                              Thanks for the suggestion. I have looked at Xsens, and asked some of my PT friends and colleagues about their technology, since they are probably the best know company in the field. I hate to say it, but I haven't heard anything positive about their technology, at least for my specific use. I do not want wires strun across my patient's bodies, and their wireless IMUs are too new to trust (they didn't work at the Neuroscience 2010 conference In San Diego). I also don't have the ability to analyze the data myself, which is why I suggested the three companies originally, because they offer a solution for my needs.

                              An update on the three companies:

                              - McRoberts does not currently offer the gait analysis software advertised on their website. They are still validating it.
                              - The IDEEA lifegait system allegedly misinterpreted asymmetrical walking for toe tapping, according to a message received from a dissatisfied customer. Could just be a fluke occurrence, but not really that encouraging.
                              - APDM's mobility lab is currently being used by numerous NIH hospitals around the US to study gait and balance in patient's with mobility disorders. This is the system I am leaning towards now, unless anyone can point me to a better option for my need. Essentially a dummy proof, portable, gait and balance system. Using a kinect is definitely interesting, Alberto, any Kinect software out there for gait and balance?

                              Thanks for all of the input everyone! I am really happy I came across this message board.

                              Mark

                              Comment

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