DataGait, developed by researchers at Oxford Brookes University, allows for easy and instantaneous analysis of a patient’s gait (manner of walking) by trained professionals in any health clinic.
With this new means of detection, scientists are of the opinion that ‘gait’ can act as a clinical indicator for Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, arthrosis and other diseases, which have an impact on a person’s mobility. This new non-invasive clinical indicator can be used in any health clinic as the analysis is precise and is available to the patient at an affordable cost.
An easy to use sensor and software package, DataGait can also be used on those under clinical trials and it can assess each patient in 15 minutes, with an output of 20 to 30 patients every day. Walking speed, step time, cadence (rhythm), length and variability, symmetry and energy usage are some of the measurements taken.
The DataGait device comprises an(1) Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), which is a wireless motion sensor worn by the patient on the lower back during a short walk; and (2) an analytical software that aides in enhancing the accuracy, which the IMU helps to achieve. A laptop comes pre-loaded with the software, which can be bundled with the product or the software can be loaded onto the customer’s computer.
Clinicians, clinical trial investigators, physiotherapists, nurses and other healthcare professionals can now detect the variations that can be overlooked in simple walking tests and visual inspections by offering millimetre accuracy. With its wide applications, DataGait has provided indiscernible data in healthy as well as in patients who endure Parkinson’s disease. This portable gait monitor not only helps in evaluating patients in the early stages of the disease, but with methodical monitoring helps in determining if the treatment is effective or not.