Home Gait Assessment System

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2R44AG034698-02
Agency Tracking Number: R44AG034698
Amount: $964,641.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2013
Solicitation Topic Code: NIA
Solicitation Number: PA12-088
Small Business Information
EMPIRICAL TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
BOX 8175, 3046A BERKMAR DRIVE, CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, 22906-8175
DUNS: 942413162
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 MARTIN BARUCH
 (434) 296-7000
 mcbaruch@comcast.net
Business Contact
 DAVID GERDT
Phone: (434) 296-7000
Email: davidetc@firstva.com
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Falls among the elderly, one of the most common reasons requiring medical intervention and a contributing factor in 40% of nursing home admissions, are a major health problem. Several studies have identified quantifiable gait markers that appear to distinguish between elderly fallers and non-fallers. These studies have relied on data acquired in gait-laboratories. Extending gait assessment capability, and falls detection, into the home could provide valuable before-the-fact information on gait weakness evolution, which in turn could be used to assess the efficiency of counter measures. Current mobile gait analysis techniques are insufficient because they rely on compliance or are too intrusive. The development of a newgait assessment monitor is proposed. The device is passive and obtains gait data from miniature, shoe-worn, wireless devices, precluding the need to put on sensors, watches etc, walk on special surfaces, or be observed by cameras. This study's principal aim is to validate the device's performance through a comparison with accepted gait assessment techniques at the Motion Analysis and Motor Performance Laboratory at the University of Virginia Health System as well as a comparison study with accepted gait assessment tests at a local retirement community. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Falls among the elderly, one of the most common reasons requiring medical intervention and a contributing factor in 40% of nursing home admissions,are a major health problem. Several studies have identified quantifiable gait markers that appear to distinguish between elderly fallers and non-fallers. These studies have relied on data acquired in gait-laboratories. Extending gait assessment capability, and falls detection, into the home could provide valuable before-the-fact information on gait weakness evolution, which in turn could be used to assess the efficiency of counter measures. Current mobile gait analysis techniques are insufficient becausethey rely on compliance or are too intrusive. The development of a new gait assessment monitor is proposed. The device is passive and obtains gait data from miniature, shoe-worn, wireless devices, precluding the need to put on sensors, watches etc,. walkon special surfaces, or be observed by cameras. This study's principal aim is to validate the device's performance through a comparison with accepted gait assessment techniques at the Motion Analysis and Motor Performance Laboratory at the University of Virginia Health System as well as a comparison study with accepted gait assessment tests at a local retirement community.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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