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Feedback System Based on Plantar Pressure for Monitoring Toe-Walking Strides in Children with Cerebral Palsy

Pu, Fang PhD; Fan, Xiaoya BE; Yang, Yang BE; Chen, Wei MS; Li, Shuyu PhD; Li, Deyu PhD; Fan, Yubo PhD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: February 2014 - Volume 93 - Issue 2 - p 122–129
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e3182a54207
Original Research Articles

Objective: The aim of this study was to develop a feedback system to assist gait rehabilitation of cerebral palsy (CP) toe walkers with dynamic equinus.

Design: Plantar pressure of the forefoot and the heel was collected by sensorized insoles embedded in custom-built shoes and transmitted to a smartphone via Bluetooth. Dynamic foot pressure index of each stride was calculated by purpose-designed software running in the smartphone to distinguish toe-walking strides from normal strides in real time. An auditory signal would be produced to alert the patient each time a toe-walking stride was detected.

Results: For CP toe walkers, the one-way analysis of variance indicated a significant difference (F1,14 = 19.492, P = 0.001) in dynamic foot pressure index between the affected side (31.4 ± 12.0) and the unaffected side (58.6 ± 2.5). In addition, the validation test showed that this system can distinguish toe-walking strides from normal strides of children with CP with an accuracy of 95.3%.

Conclusions: This system was able to monitor the toe-walking strides of children with CP in real time and had the potential to enhance rehabilitation training efficiency and correct toe-walking gait in children with CP with dynamic equinus.

From the State Key Laboratory of Virtual Reality Technology and Systems, Beihang University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China (FP, DL, YF); and Key Laboratory of Rehabilitation Technical Aids of Ministry of Civil Affair, School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China (FP, XF, YY, WC, SL, DL, YF).

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to: Yubo Fan, PhD, School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Beihang University, No. 37 Xueyuan Rd, Haidian District, Beijing 100191, People’s Republic of China.

Xiaoya Fan is an MS candidate, and Yang Yang and Wei Chen are PhD candidates.

Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 11072022, 11120101001, 10925208) and Microsoft Research Asia (FY12-RES-THEME-096).

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

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