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Smart insole can help improve walking

Nov. 8, 2012 at 8:34 PM   |   Comments

SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- A University of Utah engineering professor say her smart insole design using sensors and gyroscopes can help correct walking abnormalities.

Stacy Bamberg of the university's department of mechanical engineering says her insole, which she calls the Rapid Rehab system, will eventually help correct walking problems for people with artificial legs, hip replacements and broken legs.

The system uses a custom gel insole with force sensors, accelerometers and gyroscopes to detect a person's gait, or walking pattern, and provide real-time feedback.

A companion smartphone application wirelessly tracks data from the insole and provides a variety of instantaneous feedback. Users or physical therapists can choose from visual, audio or sensory feedback.

The immediate use for this technology, Bamberg said, is for amputees who would like to reduce how much they limp when using prosthetic legs, but she hopes eventually to expand the uses for Rapid Rehab to help people who have received a hip replacement or suffered a bone fracture and need to correct their gait as they heal.

"We are on the verge of having a major impact on the lives of amputees and others who struggle with gait abnormalities," Bamberg said in a university release Thursday.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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