IMU Step, new from I Measure U, a division of Vicon, is a wearable movement-tracking technology for athletes in running-based sports designed to help coaches and trainers create workouts aimed at preventing and rehabilitating from injuries.
The device features two synchronized sensors engineered via algorithms and software to precisely quantify the impact of each step an athlete takes.
More specifically, explains a media release from motion capture company Vicon, IMU Step precisely measures and classifies how hard each limb hits the ground to calculate asymmetries and workout intensity in order to offer an accumulative “bone load” score for each athlete’s training session.
The analysis of an athlete’s lower limbs and bone loading impact generated through IMU Step offers a first-of-its-kind look at each athlete’s body and the impact of workouts on their musculoskeletal system. With enough data, IMU Step can create individual profiles for athletes, making it easier to produce personalized workouts and rest schedules, the release continues.
“IMU Step brings about a new understanding of injury biomechanics as we move outside of the lab and obtain accurate measurements in the real world,” states Dr Thor Besier, co-founder and chief scientist at I Measure U.
“Using the data collected with IMU Step, athletes, coaches, trainers and support staff can make informed decisions about how to get athletes healthy, and how to keep them that way.”
IMU Step units are already being used in professional sports and collegiate programs, including the NBA, Pac-12 schools, and Harvard University.
Harvard University recently used IMU sensors to study the impact of runners in the Boston Marathon, and Pac-12 schools the University of Oregon, Stanford, USC, and the University of Colorado are also currently using the sensors to help understand the injuries commonly sustained by cross country runners.
“IMU sensors allow for the collection of biomechanics data in the wild,” says Harvard Medical School’s Dr Irene Davis, in the release. “Devices like IMU Step allow the assessment of movement patterns on the court or in the field, and help to bridge the gap between laboratory research and applied sports science.”