Falls among the elderly, one of the most common reasons requiring medical intervention and a contributing factor in 40% of nursing home admissions, are a major health problem. Several studies have identified quantifiable gait markers that appear to distinguish between elderly "fallers" and non-fallers. These studies have relied on data acquired in gait-laboratories. Extending gait assessment capability, and falls detection, into the home could provide valuable before-the-fact information on gait weakness evolution, which in turn could be used to assess the efficiency of counter measures. Current mobile gait analysis techniques are insufficient because they rely on compliance or are too intrusive. The development of a new gait assessment monitor is proposed. The device is passive and obtains gait data from miniature, shoe-worn, wireless devices, precluding the need to put on sensors, watches etc, walk on special surfaces, or be observed by cameras. This study's principal aim is to validate the device's performance through a comparison with accepted gait assessment techniques at the Motion Analysis &Motor Performance Laboratory at the University of Virginia Health System as well as a comparison study with accepted gait assessment tests at a local retirement community.

Public Health Relevance

Falls among the elderly, one of the most common reasons requiring medical intervention and a contributing factor in 40% of nursing home admissions, are a major health problem. Several studies have identified quantifiable gait markers that appear to distinguish between elderly fallers and non-fallers. These studies have relied on data acquired in gait-laboratories. Extending gait assessment capability, and falls detection, into the home could provide valuable before-the-fact information on gait weakness evolution, which in turn could be used to assess the efficiency of counter measures. Current mobile gait analysis techniques are insufficient because they rely on compliance or are too intrusive. The development of a new gait assessment monitor is proposed. The device is passive and obtains gait data from miniature, shoe-worn, wireless devices, precluding the need to put on sensors, watches etc,. walk on special surfaces, or be observed by cameras. This study's principal aim is to validate the device's performance through a comparison with accepted gait assessment techniques at the Motion Analysis &Motor Performance Laboratory at the University of Virginia Health System as well as a comparison study with accepted gait assessment tests at a local retirement community.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Type
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase II (R44)
Project #
2R44AG034698-02
Application #
8517923
Study Section
Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Sciences Study Section (MRS)
Program Officer
Joseph, Lyndon
Project Start
2009-04-01
Project End
2014-07-31
Budget Start
2013-08-01
Budget End
2014-07-31
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$964,641
Indirect Cost
Name
Empirical Technologies Corporation
Department
Type
DUNS #
942413162
City
Charlottesville
State
VA
Country
United States
Zip Code
22906