Over at the University of Utah, engineering professor Stacy Bamberg has developed a smart shoe insole to shamelessly compete with Nike’s line of high-tech shoes and running products. More importantly, though, it may help patients with prosthetic legs and people undergoing rehab to correct their gait after a hip fracture or replacement.
The device, called Rapid Rehab, consists of a custom gel insole embedded with force sensors, accelerometers, and gyroscopes to detect a person’s gait. Rapid Rehab also contains a wireless transmitter to send the data from the sensors to a custom smartphone app that tracks it and provides immediate visual, audio, or sensory feedback to the user. The current version specifically contains two force-sensitive resistors for tracking pressure when the foot is on the ground and an accelerometer and gyroscope for measuring foot movement and angle of position.
Right now, the Rapid Rehab insole is being used by amputees who want to reduce how much they limp when using a prosthetic leg. However, Bamberg hopes to expand the use to physical therapists and their patients who have received a hip replacement or suffered a bone fracture and need to correct their gait, as Rapid Rehab has shown to be less expensive than a gait-analysis lab, more accurate than subjective observations by a physical therapist, and faster at providing feedback.
We’re sure she probably wouldn’t someday mind seeing Rapid Rehab technology in a pair of Nike Airs either.
Article from the University of Utah: Utah Engineering Prof Invents Smart Insole to Correct Walking Abnormalities