Walking, one of the most important functional activities in humans, is a hallmark of independence, an indirect indicator of overall functional ability, and a valuable fitness activity helpful in controlling obesity. Cerebra Palsy (CP) is the most common disabling in children and almost all of these children have gait that is impaired in some way, leading to diminished speed, energy inefficiency and exhaustion, joint pain and degradation, tripping and falling, cosmetic concerns, and a host of other musculoskeletal, neurological, and functional problems. Orthotics for patients with CP are often prescribed to correct and/or prevent deformity, to provide a base of support, to facilitate trainin in skills, and/or improve the efficiency of gait. Unfortunately the orthotics are generally cumbersome, unsightly, and uncomfortable leading to low levels of compliance. Having insight into the levels of compliance and the outcomes of the orthotics would help clinicians tailor the treatment to find a workable solution for each individual patient. Proposed is an unobtrusive and cost effective device to accurately assess the outcomes and compliance of a wide variety of orthotics. Using the data from this device will allow caregivers to arrive a solution for the patiet which is both helpful and has high compliance.
The proposed program seeks to develop a device which unobtrusively monitors the compliance and outcomes of orthotics used to treat the symptoms of cerebral palsy patients accurately, unobtrusively, and continuously over an extended period. By monitoring the community based outcomes, effectiveness and progress of orthotics, clinicians will have an increased insight into the behavior of patents outside of a laboratory environment. This increased visibility into issues and effectiveness of the orthotics will lead to and improved quality of life for the patient.