Technological development in the service of humanity
Systems engineers help patients with neurological injuries
Humans can instantly recognize another human being by that personís gait. Describing the movements of that person scientifically is a gigantic problem. Scientists at the Department of Information Technology are busy analyzing patterns of movement with the objective of helping people with neurological injuries or joint prostheses.
Gait analysis research has been pursued for more than 100 years, and the basic problem remains the same: how to describe the mechanics of the human beingís complicated locomotor system. To formulate the mechanical equations is a major problem in itself. To go on to solve those equations requires advanced methods from numerical analysis and fast computers to do the calculations. Research in the field can be said to be technological development in the service of humanity. Itís about analyzing patterns of movement in children with neurological injuries and people who have had their patterns of movement altered by stroke, Parkinsonís disease, hip or knee prostheses, or amputation.
Most treatments in orthopedics and physical therapy are intended to enhance the patientís function, and this makes it crucial for gait analysis to determine the patientís mobility before, during, and after a treatment. Researchers at the department collaborate with the motor laboratory at Uppsala University Hospital (Akademiska sjukhuset) and with orthopedic specialists on how best to amputate to ensure the best possible rehabilitation. CP in children is the application that has made the greatest progress, and in the US it is now accepted clinical practice to perform gait analyses ahead of operations.
Foto: © Martin Cejie
ĒItís about analyzing patterns of movement in people who have had their locomotor system altered by stroke, Parkinsonís disease, hip or knee prostheses, or amputation.Ē