Fall-related injuries are a serious health risk, particularly for older adults, and as this population steadily grows, the overall risk for falls grows, too. The devices featured in this section represent current technologies that can help therapists gather, measure, and analyze objective data about an individual’s gait and balance. Among these important technologies are sensor-equipped mats and walkways, systems that provide body weight support, treadmills, and devices equipped with elevating steps that can aid in recovery and enhance neuroplasticity. Review these products and compare features to determine which offers the best fit.
Portable Gait Analysis
CIR Systems Inc, Franklin, NJ, designed the GAITRite family of walkways and modular systems to capture objective data from under the foot as well as basic upper body movement and help therapists improve how they evaluate and document patient status. All standard gait parameters for foot timing, placement, and pressure with upper body position using single-camera markerless video sub system are available. The systems can also provide objective assessment of a patient’s status and progress. All data is readily available to synchronize with other systems, such as video and EMG. Robust reporting with multiple export functions is provided.
For more information, contact CIR Systems Inc, (888) 482-2362; www.gaitrite.com
Gait Trainer 3 with Integrated Music
Based on research that shows the power of music in treating movement disorders, Biodex, Shirley, NY, brings Music-Assisted Therapy to the Gait Trainer 3. Integrating a library of music composed by music therapists who are experts in a range of neurologic disorders, the Gait Trainer quickly helps patients regularize gait rhythm and correct functional movement patterns. Neurologic music, biofeedback, and repetition of treadmill training combine to help enhance neuroplasticity, facilitate correct gait kinematics, and recover movement lost to injury or disease.
For more information, contact Biodex Medical Systems Inc, (800) 224-6339; www.biodex.com/gait
Strideway Gait Analysis
Tekscan Inc, South Boston, Mass, built Strideway as a technology that aims to simplify the gait analysis process with easy access to essential gait parameters and a platform that is flexible in length. Strideway can provide pressure information, as well as spatial, temporal, and kinetic parameters for a complete gait analysis. Strideway is engineered to make performing an evaluation simple and able to be completed in only a few minutes. With a wider active area and flush surface, Strideway is designed to minimize trip hazards and easily accommodate patients with mobility aides, such as a walker or those with gait dysfunctions.
For more information, contact Tekscan Inc, (617) 464-4281; www.tekscan.com/strideway
TriplePro Stair Trainer
The Dynamic Stair Trainer DST8000 TriplePro from Clarke Health Care Products Inc, Oakdale, Pa, features electronically elevating steps designed to allow clients to start stair climbing at a level appropriate to their ability. On one side the device has remote-controlled elevating steps that start from a flat plane and rise to 6.5 inches, and on the other side is an increasing incline that raises and lowers. Computer displays the patient’s performance in past and current sessions. DST Factor is a parameter which summarizes the patient’s status and estimated potential for future improvement.
For more information, contact Clarke Health Care Products Inc, (888) 347-4537; www.clarkehealthcare.com
Overhead Fall Protection
SafeGait ACTIVE from Gorbel Rehabilitation, Victor, NY, is an overhead fall protection device that allows patients to move dynamically through treatment sessions. It is designed to treat patients further along the continuum of care and to be ideal for hospital-based or private practice outpatient clinics. Whether rehabbing an orthopedic injury, or providing falls management for aging adults, SafeGait ACTIVE is built to allow patients to make faster functional gains and accept higher-level challenge and activity during rehabilitation. SafeGait ACTIVE allows for multi-directional movement while also protecting patients as they practice gait, balance, jumps, transfer, and stair exercises. Exclusive Dynamic Fall Protection (DFP) technology distinguishes between a patient’s intentional movement downward and a fall so therapists can safely challenge patients and facilitate error.
For more information, contact Gorbel Rehabilitation, (844) 846-8744; http://safegait.com/active/
Lokomat and Andago
Hocoma, Norwell, Mass, offers the total solution for gait and balance training. All stages of impairment along the continuum of lower limb rehabilitation are covered by the Lokomat and Andago. Severely impaired individuals can benefit from highly intensive, robotically assisted, physiological training in the Lokomat. Persons who can initiate movements but have balance or strength issues may train with the Andago, a versatile tool for overground gait training, which bridges the gap between treadmill-based training and free walking. Andago is designed to be a safe choice for individuals who can engage in self-initiated overground gait training and who wish to tackle daily-life tasks.
For more information, contact Hocoma, (877) 944-2200; www.hocoma.com
BodiTrak Balance and Gait Systems
Vista Medical, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, introduces BodiTrak Balance and Gait systems, which are designed to assess stability, symmetry, and dynamic gait as an aid for fall prevention, concussion evaluation and recovery, athlete rehabilitation, and general postural/sway rehabilitation. The BodiTrak Balance Mat measures weight-bearing, and pressure-maps each foot individually, including heel/toe segmentation. Additionally, the BodiTrak Balance Mat tracks center-of-pressure (COP) total distance moved, maximum COP displacement, and velocity of COP movement. Treadmill systems include number of foot falls, air time, and stride length. BodiTrak quantifies and brings objectivity to balance tests such as mCTSIB. By displaying and reporting data about balance-related metrics, it detects even slight improvements in outcomes over time—thereby enhancing the quality of care and value of reports for both physicians and insurers.
For more information, contact Vista Medical / BodiTrak, (800) 822-3553; www.boditrak.com
Zeno Electronic Walkway System
Managing and synthesizing accurate gait data is essential to outcomes-driven healthcare. The Zeno Walkway from ProtoKinetics, Havertown, Pa, has a wide surface that allows for the capture of assistive device performance in addition to the loading patterns of the patient’s footsteps. PKMAS software automatically eliminates walker tracks, while expertly identifying overlapping steps, to provide robust temporal-spatial measurements for even the most complicated gait patterns. Recent implementation of the enhanced Gait Variability Index (eGVI) and automated Four Square Step Test are two examples of rehabilitation-related outcome measures which may assist in clinical decisions about balance control to plan therapy and discharge from the hospital. More information about a personalized webinar or on-site presentation is available by contacting the company.
For more information, contact ProtoKinetics, (610) 449-4879; www.protokinetics.com
Body Weight Support Over Treadmill or Ground
LiteGait is a gait training device that simultaneously controls weight-bearing, posture, and balance over a treadmill or overground. Offered by Mobility Research, Tempe, Ariz, LiteGait is engineered to create an ideal environment for treating patients with a range of impairments and functional levels. Its harness and strap system design allows support to be adjusted on each side independent of the other side, and progression of the weight-bearing load from non to full weight bearing. It also allows the clinician to manually facilitate the movement of the legs and pelvis to achieve proper gait patterns.
For more information, contact Mobility Research, (800) 332-9255; https://litegait.com