D3.3 Gait Speed App

Principal Investigators

Brian Jones, MSEE; Theodore Johnson, MD, MPH

Overview

In an earlier TechSAge research project, we investigated options for measuring walking speed as a simple measure to track changes in physical ability, or function. We developed sample tools to help us test if and how health and rehabilitation professionals would measure walking speed in their everyday work. These tools included: an iPhone app (GaitRate), a permanent wall-mount system, and a portable system, all designed for measuring walking speed over a short-distance of around 3 to 5 meters. A 4-meter course length was our target during this research. We tested these tools with various healthcare professionals and learned that the wall-mount device was preferred for clinic and office settings, while an app might better serve visiting physical therapists and nurses in the home setting. As a result of these findings, we polished up the wall-mount system, which was installed in a busy clinic to further understand what challenges arise with everyday use of the device and staff recommendations to promote successful integration (e.g. staff training, reducing interruptions in measurements as to not disrupt workflow).

female testing male gait speed at clinical office gait speed app screenshot hallway at clinic

 

Project Status

  • We are currently seeking input from various stakeholders who would be interested in evaluating the wall-mount system for collecting gait speed measurements in the clinic setting or for use in rehab research, in the hopes of gaining more feedback on the system. 
  • We are also beginning to reach out to insurers (payors) to advocate for gait speed measurement and understand the barriers to reimbursement for gait speed measurement in the clinic setting. 
  • The website (http://www.gaitspeed.org) provides further information on the gaitspeed app and wall mount system. 
  • The iOS GaitRate App is now available on the Apple AppStore for use by healthcare providers: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/gaitrate/id1458165883 
Screenshot of GaitRate App in Apple App Store

 

Publications

Vandenberg, A. E., Jones, B. D. Nadel, L. & Johnson, T. M. (2018) Hands-free, non-wearable technology for outpatient clinic gait speed assessment. Journal of American Geriatric Society (JAGS)10.1111/jgs.15572

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