Smart Insoles Offer More than Support
Kyle Maxey posted on November 16, 2012 |

Orthopedic insoles have been used for years to remedy problems with limping, and gait abnormalities. The problem with a static insoles is they don’t correct the problem, they’re simply a stop gap that must be replaced over time.

A new company, Veristrideis looking to move past the idea that insoles should be used as a temporary remedy, and is focusing on creating a system that will “eventually help correct walking problems for people with artificial legs, hip replacements and broken legs.”

Veristride’s technology, named the Rapid Rehab system, is a custom gel insole armed with sensors, accelerometers and gyroscopes that detect a person’s walking patterns. In addition to these mechanical components, the Rapid Rehab system also contains a smartphone app that wirelessly tracks the data being recorded by the insole.  Physical therapists can use this data to turn the instant feedback into routines to correct a patient’s walking problems.

Currently in the prototype stage, the Rapid Rehab system has been successful enough to receive $190,000 in grants from the Utah Governor’s Office.  Veristride was founded by Professor Stacy Bamberg of the University of Utah.

While technology that can analyze and correct a person’s gait has been around for a while, Bamberg’s system has been singled-out because its profoundly different design is so simple and cost effective. With the old school technology therapists needed a large space, several cameras, a computer system to record data, and a trained technician to interpret the results. Bamberg’s system eliminates many of these elements and does so for a targeted cost of $500.  

Prof. Bamberg is confident that her Rapid Rehab system is only at the beginning of a long and successful journey.  “We are on the verge of having a major impact on the lives of amputees and others who struggle with gait abnormalities… We will be working rapidly toward commercial production. All the essential pieces are already in place. We want our system to be used by every physical therapist in the country and across the world.”

Article Source: University of Utah Technology Venture Development

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