How Stepscan Makes Gait Analysis Technology Accessible for You
The Past of Gait Analysis: Missed Opportunities
Previously, computerized gait analysis was performed using multiple measurement devices. Data from force plates, motion sensors, and temporal-spatial mats was combined to give clinicians a full picture of a patient’s gait and any pathologies present. Unfortunately, possessing multiple specialized measurement devices was impractical (space-wise) and expensive for most private health clinics.
Therefore, patients had to be referred to specialists or research clinics to receive computerized gait assessments. Not only could that mean months of waiting for an appointment, but it also meant that patients without obvious walking or balance issues (I.e.- healthy patients) rarely had access to computerized gait analysis.
This contributed to two missed opportunities: first, proactive assessments, such as sports-assessments for athletes or fall-risk assessments for aging adults, were not performed using technology. That limited the early detection of conditions such as concussions or age-related mobility issues, impeding preventative health and delaying treatment.
Walking demands the coordination of the central nervous and musculoskeletal systems. Therefore, gait analysis can be an excellent indicator of a person’s overall wellness.
The second missed opportunity was for the research community to access and collect gait data for healthy populations. Healthy gait is symmetrical; weaknesses cause abnormalities and asymmetries in gait patterns. Understanding healthy, normal gait is essential in identifying abnormal gait and its causes.
In the past, Stepscan accidentally fell into the exclusive computerized gait analysis club. Our systems have historically sold to large institutions and research hospitals and were used for the assessment of those suffering from gait-affecting conditions. Over time we recognized how participating in this pattern stifled the gait analysis industry in which we have so much faith, so we adjusted our approach.
The Future of Gait Analysis: Gait Assessments for All
Now, Stepscan is focused on bringing our state-of-the-art gait and balance technology into the hands of smaller, privately owned clinics. We want to democratize gait analysis, making it available to more practices, more clinicians, and more patients.
So, how are we doing this?
First, we have made Stepscan a convenient tool for clinical use by designing it to measure multiple crucial aspects of gait. Instead of having four or five devices to capture temporal, spatial, and plantar pressure measurements of gait and balance, all that data can be captured in one or two short assessments using only the Stepscan Gait Analysis System.
Stepscan’s software is also engineered with clinicians in mind. Assessment protocols take less than 10 minutes and easy-to-interpret summary reports allow busy clinicians to understand critical parameters quickly.
2. Providing Growth Opportunities
Stepscan’s features for convenience help it easily fit into existing clinic workflow. Objective measures of gait and balance, compared to healthy normatives, lend Stepscan assessments to multiple applications. The Stepscan System can be used for anything from routine mobility assessments to sports performance measurements, concussion screening and monitoring, fall-risk assessments, and tracking/evaluating treatment efficacy.
This wide range of applications for computerized mobility assessments allows clinicians to diversify their services, retaining patients who otherwise would have been referred to specialist clinics. Incorporating computerized gait assessments into clinical practice may also offer smaller clinics a competitive advantage over other local clinics by attracting patients interested in objectively assessing their physical performance.
The last way that we are striving to make gait analysis technology more accessible is in price. Stepscan immediately reduces the cost of computerized gait analysis by providing multiple measurement capabilities through just one platform.
Listening to customers, we recognize that ongoing maintenance costs can also be a barrier for smaller clinics. That is why we introduced flexible contracts and the Stepscan Product Guarantee. If you are on contract with Stepscan, you do not have to purchase any hardware, you will always receive the latest software updates, and if a tile in your system degrades or fails, we will ship you a new one, free of charge.
We want to make high quality, computerized gait analysis the new clinical standard. We strive to make our technology accessible to small, privately owned clinics by offering convenient, medical-grade technology with minimal maintenance, at reasonable prices.
To learn how our Stepscan Gait Analysis System would benefit your clinical practice, read here, or connect with a member of our Product Specialist Team.
For a fun read on the various tools used for gait analysis, check out our previous blog entry ‘How to Choose the Right Gait Analysis Technology for You’. Interested in learning more about computerized gait analysis in a clinical setting? Consider taking our Gait Analysis Refresher Training course.
You may have been surprised to learn about how we are trying to make computerized gait analysis more accessible. If you are a clinician, what reservations might you still have about incorporating computerized gait analysis in your practice? If you are a patient, would you choose a clinician who offered computerized gait assessments over one who didn’t? Feel free to discuss below!