European Technology for Business Ltd (ETB) over the last 3 years have been developing a range of sensor based systems for gait monitoring. These are; gaitSMARTTM for high performance, gaitWALKTM for orthopaedics/rehab and gaitAGETM for the measurement of the elderly. gaitAGETM is used for measuring the gait profile of elderly people, enabling early prediction of issues that may lead to loss of balance or the possibility of tripping. This information provides an early diagnosis of potential problems and enables intervention to be carried out before an accident occurs. As we all know “prevention is easier and better than cure”. Changes in the gait cycle could be due to lack of exercise, dietary, sleeping disorder, depression plus many other causes. Knowing that the gait is changing earlier will allow for more informed diagnosis before it becomes critical.
gaitAGETM is a unique system which monitors the movement of the lower limbs, using 4 digital sensors attached to the thigh and calf of each leg. gaitAGETM measures knee extension and flexion, extension of hip joint, abduction and adduction of hip joint, calf and thigh, and asymmetry, i.e. how balanced you are when walking. All of these parameters are easily measured anywhere (at home, in a clinic or day centre) and the information about how you are walking is given on a single sheet. gaitAGETM has been designed to be portable and to be used by a nurse or care-worker. Using gaitAGETM on a person takes no longer than 5 minutes which includes having the results given in an easy to read report.
Glyn Evans, the Director from the London Knee Clinic has been using ETB’s system in his practice in London over the last year and finds it provides invaluable information on the dynamic functionality of the legs and knee joint, and this forms a critical part of his diagnosis. gaitAGETM is also in use with a number of other leading centres both in the UK and abroad, including the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) in Stanmore and Longmead NHS Day Centre in Epsom.
ETB have worked closely with the RNOH on establishing what a normal gait profile should be for healthy subjects over the age range 17 to 97 and will be publishing this data shortly. The work with Longmead Day Centre has focussed on the elderly and relating gait characteristics to falls prevention. This short video showing the testing that has been carried out at the balance class at Longmead, where the age ranged from 65 to 93 years, is also available on the gaitAGE website. There are also leaflets that can be downloaded. More about ETB can be found at www.etb.co.uk or contact them on 01438 822822