Researchers: Christopher Bennett, Dave Viggiano, Anat Krystal, Vibhor Agrawal, Ignacio Gaunaurd, Col. Paul Pasquina, Allison Symsack, Barbara Springer, Heath Sharp, Micheal Mellinger, and Kelly Bach
At the University of Miami, we have developed the Rehabilitative Lower-Limb Orthopedic Analysis Device (ReLOAD), a system that comprises an iPad and five miniature motion sensors, embedded in a knee sleeve, that captures and analyzes the motion patterns during walking of someone who is recovering from an injury or even amputation. The ReLOAD system also provides auditory bio-feedback through standard earbuds to the user in order to correct any gait abnormalities or deviations in real-time. Our patent pending process warps the music that is on the user’s playlist, combined with voice commands, to encourage good motion patterns with auditory rewards, such as a bass boost, and discourage motion patterns that can be improved with auditory penalties by distorting the music. This interdisciplinary work is conducted at the Functional Outcomes Research & Evaluation (FORE) lab between the departments of Physical Therapy, Music Engineering, Athletics, and the Miami VA Hospital. We have shown that people with lower-limb loss will benefit from using the ReLOAD system, and we hope that in the future it will be shown to be useful for athletic and other lower-limb injuries.