Why the interest?

 

Stepscan® - Supporting the transition of Gait Analysis as a Medical Research tool to an accepted Clinical Assessment and Rehabilitation tool.

The study of how people walk has been a research interest since the time of Aristotle (300 BC).  Visual assessment of gait has been used for hundreds of years in assessing people and animals walking /running performance.  The interest in understanding the dynamics of human movement has not declined and research into the biomechanics of humans is growing at a strong pace.  Every week there is, on average, 100 new peer reviewed journal articles released on PubMed. 


Why the interest?

Today there are 80 million people reported as having mobility difficulties in the US alone and recent statistics report that $366 billion or 66% of the US health care budget is spent on chronic and degenerative diseases effecting mobility.  This would include conditions such as:

  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Arthritis and pain
  • Diabetes

There is general consensus in the medical research community the world over that computerized gait analysis provides valuable insight into understanding various mobility impairing diseases and is starting to be used to evaluate disease progression and the impact of disease interventions. 

However the ability to collect clinical gait data in an organized scientific fashion has not been available and this has impeded the acceptance of gait analysis as an accepted clinical assessment tool. 

There are many reasons for this but many of them have to do with the limitations of existing gait measuring technologies and the lack of standardization of the performance of these tools.

Stepscan® is built to new proposed technical performance standards for gait analysis and pressure measurement platforms introduced by the iFAB community.  This assurance of quality measurements along with some of the other key advantages of the Stepscan® expandable, modular flooring system makes us believe that Stepscan® will be the technology that leads the charge in transitioning gait analysis from a research tool to a clinical assessment tool.


In summary:

From a research perspective Stepscan® provides:

  • a better understanding of gait
  • offers empirical evidence of what has long been known anecdotally.
  • provides new clinical insights
  • permits future developments in rehabilitative engineering

From a clinical perspective Stepscan® guides:

  • Diagnosis and treatment of mobility impairing diseases and conditions
  • Assessment of disease progression in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s or Muscular Dystrophy
  • Assessment of pre and post-operative healing
  • Fitting of prosthetics and orthotic devices

 

StepScan®

has ...the potential to amount to a new “vital sign” in the assessment of musculoskeletal disease, neurological disorders... as well as conditions of the frail elderly...

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