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Biomech testing post COVID-19

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  • Biomech testing post COVID-19

    Hi all. I was wondering whether any of you have heard of a standard protocol for biomechanics testing with human subjects (e.g., treadmill running with motion capture) once labs will be able to start conducting in-lab testing again post COVID-19. For example, is the ISB working on a standard protocol, or is every lab doing their own thing? I’d love to hear what others are planning and possibly develop a standard protocol.



  • #2
    Dear Dr. Trudeau,

    This is a very complex issue, as global knowledge about the virus is not scientifically consolidated. Cultural, economic and social variables will also influence all health or rehabilitation/ biomechanics protocols. Can the protocols used in the Bundesliga (Germany) be transferred to other countries?

    A motion capture test can have 2 high-risk moments:
    1 - pre-capture: physical examination
    2 - post-examination: removal of markers and emg electrodes or inertial sensors in breathless and sweating patients

    Perhaps, in a few centers (with the use of certified and disposable safety equipment), gait or biomechanical analysis can be performed after patients has done a rapid test for virus detection (not the rapid tests available at this time, which detect antibodies, as there may be a false negative due to the 7-day delay after the patient was infected with the virus). I think that a trained nurse - unfortunately, many will have experience in this area with the pandemic - should be part of routine patient care.

    Without a vaccine or effective drugs for treatment in the initial stage of the disease, all procedures will be only mitigating.

    I was providing support to a clinic that evaluated treadmill runners using 3D motion capture before the pandemic. Quarantine procedures are precarious in Brazil. So, any positive outlook on the future seems illusory.

    I apologize if this information does not answer your question satisfactorily.
    Best Regards,

    Wagner de Godoy
    (lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate)

    Last edited by Wagner De Godoy; May 16, 2020, 08:28 AM.


    • #3
      Dear all
      This is an interesting question we are also trying to solve at the moment.
      In our case some University biomechanics laboratory courses are affected by the current situation and the regulations.
      Our plan at the moment is to match our government's regulations for therapist massage and physiotherapy and harmonize those with the general regulations for teaching at Universities.

      As Wagner de Godoy already pointed out, this might be different for different countries or regions depending on the local situation and regulations. However, it might be good to have some ground rules we could all base our decisions upon.

      But it seems these questions cannot be answered to general and unrestricted satisfaction at the moment.
      Further thoughts on the topic are highly welcome.

      Kind regards from Vienna,
      stay healthy


      • #4
        We have written an application note that describes procedures that should work to maintain cleanliness of our EMG systems in general gait and biomechanics use. These procedures discuss basic cleaning methods that should work for most equipment in a biomechanics/gait environment. Essentially, when you are working with force plates, treadmills, marker arrays and other items like EMG preamplifiers, you can normally use a sanitary spray approved by local regulations but it need to be spray onto a paper towel and then used to wipe the equipment.

        Be very careful washing the floor if you have force plates because you do not want liquid seeping into the force plate pit. Basically I expect that all that is needed is to wipe down any surface or item that has touched the subject and will touch the next subject to make sure that nothing is transferred.

        A further procedure that would help in case of any subsequent infection would be to record the name, contact details, and temperature of everyone who enters the lab, even if all they are doing is emptying the waste paper bins.