STEPSCAN FAQs

Technical

Stepscan®is a plantar pressure measurement device and gait analysis system.

The Stepscan® System is calculating key measurements with respect to Sway/balance, temporal and spatial gait statistics and key plantar pressure measurements.

The sensors are piezo-electric resistive sensors.

The sensors are placed 5 mm apart beginning 2.5 mm for each edge of the tile providing a seamless measurement area with no dead zone on the tile or between tiles when they are connected to each other.

The Stepscan® operates at 100 hertz (min) which is the scan rate recommended for measurement of walking ability.

0 - 1500 kPa.

The tiles are wired (one power cord and one Ethernet connection per contiguous group of tiles).  The power supply is 120V AC to 48V AC medical grade power supply.

The surface of the tile is made of commercially available rubber flooring.

Product Usage

The Stepscan® gait analysis system is a registered Class I medical device with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada.

Clean the Stepscan® tile and cables with 70% medical grade alcohol. UV disinfectant wands may also be suitable.

The software used to read the hardware was developed on Windows.  We have no immediate plans for migrating the software-hardware interface to work on other operating systems.

It is not necessary to install the Stepscan® tiles into the floor, the device can be overlaid overtop any flooring surface.  Should you want to install the device into the floor as you would a force plate you certainly can do so.

Accuracy

Calibration is the process of determining the numerical relationship between the observed sensor output (i.e. ADC output voltage) and the known value of pressure being applied to the particular sensor. The Stepscan® Tile is considered calibrated if its pressure measurements are within a predetermined range of the known applied pressure. The system must be carefully calibrated to obtain the best results in terms of accuracy and repeatability for the end user. The accuracy and repeatability of measurements obtained on a PMD will vary among levels of applied pressure, calibration procedure, duration of pressure application, frequency of pressure application (i.e. static or dynamic), contact surface compliance/elasticity, contact surface shape (i.e. flat or curved), previous loading history, etc. calibration should be performed under conditions that are as close as possible to the actual measurement conditions

Yes, each of the 14,400 sensors of the Stepscan® Tile Unit is individually calibrated across the entire pressure range before being delivered to the end user.

Accuracy;  Hysteresis ≥95%

Each of the 14,400 sensors of a Stepscan® Tile Unit are individually calibrated across the entire pressure range in-factory before being delivered to the customer.  It is recommended that the system be calibrated at least once a year.  The customer can check the calibration accuracy on site using our COP (Center of Pressure) device available with the sale of the Stepscan® system.

The end user cannot calibrate the tile.  To ensure the highest standard of accuracy the tile is in-factory calibrated after manufacturing.  The customer can verify if the calibration is correct using a COP (Center of Pressure) device and do on-site periodic assessment of the accuracy of COP, as well as local load and mean pressure under the COP feet. If the calibration is not optimized, the tile must be returned to Stepscan’s  head office for in-factory recalibration.

On a select number of Tiles we have developed Standard Operating Procedures to test for the following technical parameters.

  1. Pressure Distribution
  2. Hysteresis
  3. Creep
  4. COP
  5. Cross-Talk
  6. Accuracy after fatigue
  7. Bandwidth

The results of these tests are compared with i-FAB standards to assess the floor tiles functionality. The equipment used to perform these tests is the same as that is used to calibrate the tiles.

Each tile is composed of four quarter tiles, with 60 rows of 60 sensors each (3600 sensors total).  For each image, the quarter tile scans through its sensors, one row of 60 sensors at a time, but very rapidly (<100us per row).  Each of the quarter tiles perform this process independently and send the data to a central processor in the tile, which combines them and forwards the full-tile data to the Stepscan® Software application.  This application combines and synchronizes data from multiple tiles to give multi-tile images, where the sensor data is collected within the same time slice (e.g., 10ms for 100Hz sampling rate).

Clinical & Research

The Stepscan® gives you measures of underfoot pressures and the spatial/temporal parameters of gait and VICON camera give you kinematic data, particularly joint angles.  The technologies complement each other to give you more information of a person’s walking ability or gait.  They can be used together or apart depending on what you want to measure.

We see ourselves as a complimentary technology.  The force plate measures the force and will give you the vectors of force (i.e., the angles of those forces).  The Stepscan® measures underfoot pressures in addition to the spatial and temporal parameters of gait.

Yes, the raw data can be exported from Stepscan® to the HDF5 format.  There are methods of loading such data with data analysis packages/languages such as R, Python, and MATLAB.

Yes, you can put a chair at the edge of the tile, sit the patient in the chair and then have them stand up on the tile.  The tile with measure their underfoot pressures, the balance and sway parameters.

There are two entry points with the technology.

  • The Stepscan® Pad, a one tile system with software is designed to do a static gait analysis.  The patients stands on the Pad and you get their underfoot pressures with a high degree of accuracy in addition to the sway/balance parameters.
  • The Stepscan® Pedway, a four (4) tile system with accompanying software is designed to do a dynamic gait analysis. The four tile system or Pedway is the minimum number of tiles you would need to capture two full strides.  You can add additional active and non-active tiles and plug and play them to any configuration.  The Pedway gives you underfoot pressures with a high degree of accuracy in addition to the temporal and spatial parameters of gait.

Our Product Specialists are always happy to meet to discuss your specific needs and demonstrate the Stepscan system. Click here to connect with us and learn more.