SENDoc Project: The 5th Physical partner meeting to Discuss the Progress of Demonstrators in Rural Regions and Networking. Hosted by the Centre for Health Science on 13th and 14th of November 2019 in Inverness, Scotland.

Authors: Shvan Karim and Dr. Karla Muñoz Esquivel,

Research Associates in Wearable Technologies for SENDoc project at Ulster University

All partners institutions of the SENDoc project,  Tyndall-UCC, Karelia-UAS, Umeå-VLL and Ulster University attended the 5th Physical Partner meeting of SENDoc. This was hosted at the Centre for Health Science, in Inverness, Scotland, UK, from the 13th to 14th of November 2019.

The first day was comprised of two main parts:  The first part included a presentation by Frances Hines, – Research Development and Innovation manager. The focus of the presentation was about  the centre, how its work  is organised, its different pathways for research, the EU projects funded along with a few examples of ongoing service redesign projects, like the FIT HOMES and the SKYE Hospital at Home projects. Afterwards, the attendees held presentations, where the teams provided a progress update for the project in terms of the deliverables, the delivery model, publications to date, knowledge collection and progress on demonstrations. Furthermore, perspectives of 2 years of SENDoc were discussed.  The day finished with a tour to the Culloden Battlefield and the Steering Group meeting.

Frances Hines, Research Development and Innovation manager giving a presentation to SENDoc project team about the Health Science Centre
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Antti Alämaki presenting the progress for Karelia-UAS team
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John Barton presenting the progress for Tyndall-UCC team
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Markus Åkerlund Larsson giving the update for Umea-VLL team
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SENDoc team in the first day of the physical meeting at NHS Highlands Research Development and Innovation Centre
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SENDoc team at the Culloden Battlefield

The second day started with a brainstorming session on the Service Delivery Model and lessons learnt. In addition, setting up a publication strategy for the reminder of the project was also discussed.  A SENDoc stall was setup at the lunchtime in The Centre for Life Science in Inverness to promote the SENDoc project to interested parties. Live demonstrations were also run for the Actionsense Glove from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Vimove for spondylitis, and Movesole for gait analysis. The stall attracted much attention from NHS staff who seemed impressed with the technologies and the way they have been utilised by the SENDoc project.

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SENDoc team Brainstorming

SENDoc team showcased the wearable sensor systems used in the project in different trials with participants, e.g. elders, Parkinson’s disease, post-stroke, rheumatoid arthritis and Axial spondylitis patients. The second day ended with an afternoon networking with other Highland Projects. Attendees included NHS R&D staff, University of Highlands and Islands Researchers, and a representative from Albyn Enterprises Limited, who are based in Inverness. Overall, the feedback from the event was very positive and there is a strong potential for future collaborations with the representatives who attended.

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Showcasing the wearable sensor systems used in the trials of SENDoc project
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Flyer for Networking with other Highland Projects event
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Networking with other Highland Projects, presenting Dr Daniel Kelly from Ulster team
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Networking with other Highland Projects, presenting John Barton from Tyndall-UCC
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Networking with other Highland Projects, presenting Antti Alãmaki from Karelia-UAS

SENDoc was disseminated at the IGS 2019 winning two prizes

Author: Dr. Karla Muñoz Esquivel, Research Associate in Wearable Technologies at Ulster University

The 67th Irish Gerontology Society (IGS) Conference – entitled Innovation, Advances and Excellence in Ageing -was held from the 26th to the 28th September  2019 at the Clayton Hotel Silversprings in Cork, Ireland. Members of the SENDoc project attended this event to disseminate the research of SENDoc. John Barton, from Tyndall-UCC, and Lorna Kenny, from UCC, delivered platform presentations at the conference.  One poster was also presented at this conference.

The platform presentations were entitled:

AN EXPLORATION OF THE FEASIBILITY AND ACCEPTABILITY OF WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY IN PARKINSON’S DISEASE –

Lorna Kenny, Clíona O’Riordan, TonyWilkinson, Mary O’Sullivan, Janis Agurjanovs,

Salvatore Tedesco, Marco Sica, Colum Crowe, John Barton, Suzanne Timmons WINNER – PLATFORM AWARD

ACCURACY OF OFF THE SHELF ACTIVITY TRACKERS IN AMBULATORY SETTINGS IN YOUNG AND OLD ADULTS  –

John Barton, Suzanne Timmons, Salvatore Tedesco, Marco Sica, Colum Crowe, Brendan O’Flynn

The poster title was:

USER PREFERENCES FOR THE DESIGN OF WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS – A SCOPING REVIEW

Clíona O’Riordan, Lorna Kenny, Salvatore Tedesco, Marco Sica, Colum Crowe, John

Barton, Suzanne Timmons, Brendan O’Flynn WINNER – POSTER AWARD

 

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John Barton, Research Engineer at Tyndall-UCC and Work Package Leader at SENDoc project, presenting SENDoc’s key note

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Lorna Kenny, Researcher at UCC, presenting her key note at IGS 2019

The 4th Physical Partner Meeting of SENDoc in Derry/Londonderry and the Northern Ireland Connected Health Ecosystems Gathering – ‘Supporting Active Ageing through Wearable Devices’

Author: Dr Karla Muñoz Esquivel

Research Associate in Wearable Technologies for SENDoc project

All the partners of SENDoc – Tyndall-UCC, Karelia-UAS, Umeå-VLL  and Ulster University teams – came together to hold the 4th Physical Partner meeting of SENDoc project and to attend the NI Connected Health Ecosystem Gathering from the 7th to the 9th May 2019 in Derry/Londonderry Northern Ireland, UK. Partners updated about the progress that has been done on the Northern and Periphery Arctic Program (NPA) deliverables and the demonstrations running at each partner locations in the 3rd and 4th periods of SENDoc. The cohorts involved in these demonstrations using wearable sensor kits range from post-stroke, Parkinson’s disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis patients as well as healthy and fit elderly. As part of this meeting, on the first day, all the SENDoc team had a tour of the Derry City Walls, which were built nearly 400 years ago. The tour was guided and delivered by Martin McCrossan City Walking Tours. This had a very nice flow and was very well paced. The team really enjoyed the tour and learnt a lot about the history of Derry/Londonderry city.

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SENDoc team starting the Derry Walls tour

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SENDoc team at the Derry Walls tour

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Derry Walls – facing the free Derry corner

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SENDoc team at the Wee Church

As part of the second day of the meeting, the SENDoc team held an NPA/Interreg projects networking afternoon. This session was very useful to learn from each other’s experiences handling and executing the project and understanding what has been achieved and their social impact. The projects attending this meeting were: Centre for personalised medicine; clinical decision making and patient safety (CPM), SENDoc, AxSPA-FOREUM, Connected Culture and Natural Heritage in a Northern Environment (CINE), Platforms for Ageing Community Engagement – Exchange and Enterprise (PLACE-EE), SECURE, CLEAN and the Cross-border Healthcare Intervention Trials in Ireland Network (CHITIN (Kite-tin))

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Mary Webster presenting PLACE-EE project

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Vini Vijayan (student at LYIT) presenting work performed at iMaxSPA-FOREUM project

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Catriona Strain presenting CLEAN project

On the third day of the SENDoc meeting, 9th May, the NI Connected Health Ecosystem, Gathering, whose theme was ‘Supporting Active Ageing through Wearable Devices’, was hosted. Some members of the SENDoc team presented at the event and ran a workshop of wearable sensor technologies.

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Dr. Daniel Kelly, Lecturer in Computing at Ulster University, welcomed people to Ulster University, Magee campus

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Dr. David Heaney, Rossal Consultancy, introducing SENDoc project

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Antti Alamäki – Senior Lecturer at Karelia UAS and Project Manager SENDoc, M.Sc., Physiotherapist -introducing the work conducted as part of SENDoc at Joensuu, Finland

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Antti Alamäki speaking about the SENDoc demonstrations at Joensuu and the lessons learned so far

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Anna Nordström – Professor of Public Health, Associate Professor of Sports Medicine at Umeå University and Specialist in Rehabilitation Medicine and Senior Attending Physician Behavioral Medicine at the Northern University Hospital in Umeå – introducing the work from SENDoc project conducted at Umeå, Sweden

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Anna Nordström speaking about the demonstrations running at Umeå

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SENDoc team demonstrating activity trackers

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SENDoc team demonstrating smart gloves

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SENDoc team demonstrating X-sens inertial measurement units

Health Technology for Assisted Living: Networking Lunch

Author: Dr Karla Muñoz Esquivel

Research Associate in Wearable Technologies for SENDoc project

This event took place on 27th March 2019, funded by Connected NI Programme, was organised by Ulster University and NorthWest Regional College (NWRC). To this event attended about 25 people. The main objective of this event was to communicate about the related Health Technology projects that are currently taking place at the Northwest of Northern Ireland.

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Dr David Heaney, from the Rossal Consultancy, chaired the event

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Geraldine Lavery, Head of Department of Health NWRC, speaking about DIAL

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Dr Daniel Kelly, Lecturer in Computing at Ulster University, speaking about SENDoc project

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Caroline McKeever, Curriculum Hub Manager in Care and Social Care NWRC, speaking about the ARCH project

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Prof Louise Dubras – MBBS DRCOG FRCGP MA Ed FAcadMEd PFHEA, Foundation Dean, School of Medicine Ulster University – speaking about the NI Graduate Entry Medical School at Ulster University

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Dr Fergal Tuffy, Technology Innovation Manager at the NWRC, speaking about the Business support provided at NWRC

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From left to right: Fergal Tuffy, Eleanor Keanie, David Heaney, Karla Muñoz Esquivel, Daniel Kelly, Geraldine Lavery, Louise Dubras, Caroline McKeever , Susan McGrory and Tony Mc Daid

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Agenda of the Health Technology for Assisted Living: Networking Lunch on 27th March, 2019

SENDoc project’s workshop at the 3rd Joint Northern Ireland Connected Health & eHealth Ireland Ecosystem Gathering

Author: Dr Karla Muñoz Esquivel

Research Associate in Wearable Technologies for SENDoc project

On 9thJanuary 2019, the teams of SENDoc project from Tyndall-UCC and Ulster University attended the 3rd Joint Gathering – eHealth Ireland & Northern Ireland Connected Health Ecosystems. The event was held in the Canal Court Hotel in Newry, Co. Down, NI,  with over 230 participants.  The main objective of the SENDic team at the event was to disseminate the SENDoc project, network and deliver a workshop where attendees could experience several wearable wireless sensor systems employed in the project with different cohorts.  Example health applications included  Parkinson’s Disease, post-Stroke rehab, AnkSpond and Rheumatoid Arthritis rehab/exercise.

Dr Joan Condell and John Barton from Ulster University and Tyndall-UCC respectively, delivered a plenary presentation as part of the main event program where they spoke about the “SENDoc project” and our goal of testing or creating technologies for the remote rehabilitation of elderly populations. They highlighted the importance of assessing usability from the health care professional and patients’ viewpoints.

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In the workshop, attendees were able to see first-hand how the range of technologies operated and then ask questions to all members of the SENDoc team.  Technologies that were exhibited and demonstrated ranged from sensor data gloves and IMUs to off-the-shelf sensors (e.g. activity trackers).  Participants had the opportunity to also answer questionnaires online about their perception and feedback on these technologies. The SENDoc workshop had over 20 participants. Marketing material, pens, notebooks, pamphlets and folders were distributed to participants of the workshop. From the three parallel afternoon workshops, SENDOc project’s workshop was the one with the best attendance rate. For more information about the 3rd Joint Northern Ireland Connected Health & eHealth Ireland Ecosystem Gathering please visit: https://echalliance.com/news/433748/Successful-3rd-Joint-Northern-Ireland-Connected-Health–eHealth-Ireland-Ecosystem-Gathering-.htm

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Richard Davies explaining about X-sens and Movesole (the latter used by our colleagues in Karelia-UAS).

A conference on digitalization – FYSISK AKTIVITET & HÄLSA 2018

Author: Elina Nevala (Project specialist in SENDoc and Physiotherapist at Karelia University of Applied Science)

Edited and reviewed by: Dr Karla Muñoz Esquivel (Researcher in Wearable Technologies at Ulster University)

All SENDoc project´s partners participated on the conference entitled: “A conference on Digitalisation, Physical Health & Activity 2018” (http://www.fysiskaktivitetumea.com/) , which took place from 7thto 8thNovember at Umeå, Sweden. This conferece was organized by County Council of Västerbotten (Life Medicine at Arbets- och beteendemedicinskt Centrum) and Umeå University (School of Sport Sciences) in collaboration with Norc InC, SENDoc, and Innovation+. The purpose of the conference was to find new contacts, new lines of thought, and to lead discussions. The conference was aimed at individuals who work with technology, innovations and physical activity.

The conference consisted of presentations, keynote speakers, workshops and abstract presentations. The latter in the form of posters and oral presentations. In addition, companies and projects were presented in the exhibition area. SENDoc project exhibition was comprised of sensors employed in the project to monitor conditions such as spondylitis (arthritis in the spine), and frailty and diabetes (gait). We had about 15 visitors in the exhibition stand. From therse,  three people were extremely interested on knowing more details about the sensors and the project.  SENDoc project´s partners had the opportunity to present at the conference the current progress on demonstrations conducted as part of the project. The Physical Activity & Health 2018 conference was particularly well organized, especially interesting and highly related to the aims and objectives of SENDoc project. All SENDoc partners had the opportunity to meet new people and acquire new contacts.

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Poster by SENDoc Tyndall UCC team displayed for exhibition at the conference

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Poster by SENDoc Karelia UAS team displayed for exhibition at the conference

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Karla Muñoz Esquivel (PhD and Researcher in Wearable Technologies) – from Ulster University (Northern Ireland, UK) – presenting the validation protocol for a new sensor glove to monitor rheumatoid arthritis in the hands

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Karelia University of Applied Science (UAS) team, Juha Jalovaara (Physiotherapist) and Antti Alamäki (Senior Lecturer, Physiotherapist and Project Manager), in the exhibition area of the Fysisk Aktivitet & Hälsa 2018 conference

 

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Karelia University of Applied Science (UAS) team, Juha Jalovaara (Physiotherapist) and Antti Alamäki (Senior Lecturer, Physiotherapist and Project Manager), in the exhibition area of the Fysisk Aktivitet & Hälsa 2018 conference

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Niall McShane (Research Associate in Clinical Analytics and Application Development at Ulster University) describing the App design for attaining the engagement of axial spondylitis patients using gamification

Third Physical Partner Meeting of SENDoc in Umeå, Sweden

Author: Dr Karla Muñoz Esquivel (Researcher in Wearable Technologies at Ulster University)

Edited and reviewed by: Elina Nevala (Project specialist in SENDoc and Physiotherapist at Karelia University of Applied Science)

All SENDoc partners came together at Umeå University to attend the third partner meeting entitled “Establishing Networks and the Progress of Demonstrators in Rural Regions” on 6thNovember, 2018. In the meeting, a part of learning more about the Västerbotten County Council (VLL), Umeå and Umeå University, each team had the opportunity of presenting its progress and show the tasks that will be targeted within the third period of SENDoc. Also, we had the chance of discussing outstanding points about deliverables and the transnational demonstration (technology that will be used and protocol). The latter will take place in all partner locations.

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Umeå/VLL SENDoc team giving their presentation about “Umeå and Umeå University (UMU)”

The meeting was very productive. All partners also had the opportunity of exhibiting in a workshops the technologies that were purchased on each site for the demonstrations, which are taking place as part of this project with different cohorts: frail, amputee and rheumatoid patients/clients. The workshop enable us to interchange thoughts and experiences about the use of these wearable technologies on real settings. Also, it give us the change of seeing how these technologies are located on patients/clients and the kind of information/reports that are provided as a result.  Some of these technologies have shown to be superior than others, i.e. easy to use/understand, reliable and provide objective and relevant information of what is being monitored to know the actual capacity of the patients/clients.

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Ulster team presenting its progress and the transnational demonstration protocol

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Workshop demonstration: AI project in Umeå University about using sensor data in the mobile to identify the physical activity that a person is performing, such as sitting, biking, standing, walking and running.

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Workshop demonstration: Observing the report generated from a wearable wireless sensor used to monitor the balance of a patient/client

On this meeting we also had the visit of an Assistant to Chief Representative from the Economic, Trade and Investment Representative Office in Europe of the Government of Shenzhen municipality, which came to invite us to participate on their competition focused on the creation of Artificial Intelligence products. The meeting also help us to enhance the synergy of the team and we are looking forward to make progress on the third period of SENDoc.

 

 

SENDoc project is Exhibited at the annual NPA Conference in Inverness

Author: Dr Karla Muñoz Esquivel

Research Associate in Wearable Technologies for SENDoc project

SENDoc project team members, Karla Muñoz Esquivel and Niall Mc Shane, attended the annual local Northern Periphery Arctic (NPA) conference at Inverness, Scotland, UK to exhibit SENDoc and CINE projects respectively. SENDoc’s exhibition centred on IMU sensors to measure range of movement on  the spinal column of patients with rheumatism. A special sensor glove was also on display, which is used to measure the range of movement of each finger joint. About 60 people attended this event and 15 people actually asked questions and were interested on knowing more details about SENDoc project.

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Dr. Karla Muñoz at SENDoc exhibition stand

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CINE exhibition stand

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SENDoc poster about “Off-the-shelf sensors and frailty” research

The focus of this year was “the People of the North: Across Generations”.  The conference covered topics very useful to manage and report project status and plan the finances of NPA  projects. The aim is to focus more on the outcomes of the project and invest least time on reporting. Time was also dedicated to a Finances workshop session and a Q&A session that was found also very useful. The main benefits of attending this conference were: To see the impact that other projects like ours are having, learn from other projects experiences and networking.

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Logh Ness, Inverness, Scotland

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Dr. Karla Muñoz at the NPA conference sessions

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Niall McShane at the NPA conference registration

Mechanical functions of the Spina and IMU sensors

Author: Dr Karla Muñoz Esquivel(Researcher in Wearable Technologies at SENDOC Project)

Reviewed and edited by Elina Nevala

In SENDoc, some of the demonstrations that we are performing are focused on looking at spondylitis in patients using IMU sensors, so this blog posts aims to inform about what implies the normal functioning of the spina and therefore, the advantages that using IMU sensor systems to track the movements of the spina can bring and how these systems are validated.

The musculoskeletal system of the spinal column serves two key functions: 1) delivers stability, active and passive, to the trunk whilst the body is in locomotion or static, and 2) guards the spinal cord. The spinal column is divided into functional units, one functional unit involves two adjunct vertebrae and the interconnected vertebral disc. Translational movements can be performed by each unit along the x, y, z axes. Rotational movements can be performed by each unit in sagittal, frontal and transverse planes (e.g. flexion-extension, lateral flexion and axial rotation). To measure translation and rotation movements can be used non-invasive techniques, such as stereo radiography, an imaging technique, which can measure translational and rotational movements between the individual vertebras and the entire spine and inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) sensor systems. Using the latter to measure these movements provides advantages such as being low-risk and cost-effective (Bauer, 2018).

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Spinal Column diagram (OpenStax College, 2013)

 

Bauer (2018) discusses that to have clinical and scientific acceptability, if an IMU sensor system is used to measure these movements, its validity and reliability have to be evaluated.  The former is the degree to which it measures what it is supposed to. The latter is related to attaining consistent measurements. Validity has to be concurrent and predictive, i.e. the IMU system measurement has to correlate with a validated measure. Two measurements should be provided between the correlation of two systems: a measure of accuracy in the units of measurement (such as angles) and a measure of random error (precision). Reliability is affected by interrater (e.g. session placement that can be minimised with a standardised protocol); and intrasession and intersession variability (e.g. biological variability that it is test specific and its magnitude of variability indicates test reliability and can be used to recommend the number of demonstrations needed to be averaged from one or more sessions to improve reliability).

References:

OpenStax College (2013) Introduction to Anatomy and Phisiology, Openstax CNX. Available at: https://cnx.org/contents/14fb4ad7-39a1-4eee-ab6e-3ef2482e3e22@6.27.

Bauer, C. (2018) Reliability and Validity of Lumbopelvic Kinematics Related to Nonspecific Low Back Pain. Electronica Universitatis Tamperensis. Available at: http://tampub.uta.fi/handle/10024/103557.

Gait Analysis (continue – part2)

Author: Elina Nevala (Project specialist in SENDoc, physiotherapist) 

Edited and Reviewed by Karla Muñoz Esquivel

As described in previous blog text, which concerned gait phases, let’s revise a bit! So, in the gait the important movements occur in all three plains – sagittal, frontal and transverse, but the largest movements occur in a sagittal plane. The gait contains seven events, which divide the gait cycle into seven periods: Four of these occur in the stance phase when the foot is on the ground and three in the swing phase when the foot is moving forward. Stance phases: Loading response, mid-stance, terminal stance and pre-swing. Phases of swing: initial swing, mid-swing and terminal swing (See picture 1).

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Picture 1. Time dimensions of the gait (Magee. Orthopaedic Physical Assessment. p.851)

Stride width (also known as the walking base or base of support) is the distance between the two feet, normal values for this are 5-15 centimetres when measured from the midpoint of the back of the heel. The preferred unit for stride width is millimetres. The toe out angle is the degrees between a direction of progression and a reference line on the sole of the foot (Picture 2). Normal values for this angle is 5-10º out, but toe in can also occur but it’s less common.

 

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Picture 2. Terms used to describe foot placement on the ground (Levine, Richards & Whittle. Whittle’s Gait Analysis, p. 34)

The most common parameter to be analysed is walking speed (stride length divided by cycle time). The velocity or speed of gait is measured in meters/second or kilometres/minute. The numbers of steps taken in a given time are called cadence, usually, its units are steps/minute. The walking speed depends on cadence and stride lengths, so speed can be changed by modifying these variables, for example increasing the cadence while keeping the stride length the same. The duration of the gait cycle is known as the cycle time, which is divided by stance time and swing time.

Joint motion during normal gait. The task of the hip is to extend the leg during stance phase and flex the leg during swing phase. The hip flexors (primarily iliopsoas muscles) slows down the extension and hip extensors (primarily the hamstrings) slows down the flexion. So, both of these muscle groups work eccentrically. An important event for the hip is also that the abductor muscles work as a stabiliser during single-leg support. Key functions for knee are to bear weight, absorb shock (first three stance phases, knee on flexion), extend the stride length and allow the foot to move through the swing. The major role in gait is played by the foot and the ankle, because the various joints allow the foot accommodating to the ground. The joints of foot and ankle must work together to make normal gait possible. Gastrocnemius and soleus are also important muscles in gait. In normal walking, they use 85% of their maximum voluntary contraction.

References: 

Kauranen, K. (2017) Fysioterapeutin käsikirja. Physiotherapy Handbook. 1st edition.  pp.329-336.

Magee, D. J. (2002) Orthopaedic Physical Assessment. 4th edition. pp. 847-872. 

Levine, D., Richards, J. & Whittle, M.W. (2012) Whittle’s Gait Analysis. 5th edition.