Following lower-extremity surgery, orthopedic patients must often return for check ups or physical therapy to monitor their recovery. But providers can now remotely monitor patients via their shoes.
German company Moticon’s OpenGo sensor insoles can be placed into any pair of shoes to measure weightbearing, balance, acceleration, and foot temperature. The OpenGo system incorporates 13 pressure sensors, a 3-D accelerometer, and a temperature sensor, as well integrated storage to monitor patients continuously for up to four weeks. The data collected can be streamed in real-time to a computer or mobile device or stored on an accompanying ANT+-enabled flash drive.
The company plans to switch to Bluetooth Low Energy technology for the OpenGo by the end of 2014, but Moticon CEO Maximilian Müller says it originally chose ANT+ technology for its energy efficiency. “We need low-power radio because long-term patient monitoring is only possible if energy consumption is very low,” Müller says. “Back when we started out [in 2009–2010], Bluetooth Low Energy was not available, and ‘normal’ Bluetooth is much too energy intensive.”
OpenGo insoles are currently used to analyze patients after orthopedic surgery, but in the future Moticon hopes to incorporate phone-based audio, visual, or haptic feedback into the device. This would enable OpenGo to be used for rehabilitation after lower extremity fractures or knee and hip replacements, or for patients with Parkinson’s disease or those suffering diabetic neuropathy in their lower extremities. The device could alert users or their providers of disbalances in gait, overloading of cartilage, or risk of a fall.
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|Learn more about wireless health technologies at BIOMEDevice Boston, March 26–27, 2014.|
—Jamie Hartford, managing editor, MD+DI