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 continuing work to commercialize the gait speed app and wall mount system. We have filed for a patent of the wall-mount system and will continue to seek additional funding to test in other clinics. In addition, we are releasing the GaitRate App designed primarily for clinic use to make it available for free on the Apple AppStore. The website, http://www.gaitspeed.org will provide further information on the status of the app, along with useful resources on gait speed.

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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