Translate summer student project scheme blog: Smartphone gait analysis
In May 2018, Translate ran the Summer Student Project Scheme to support small medical technology development projects. This blog is part of a series that showcases projects supported by this scheme as recounted from the student’s perspective.
Due the schemes success, it is being run again for summer 2019. To learn how to apply for student support funding for your medtech research, click here.
- Name: Jack Mckeown
- Current Organisation: University of York
My name is Jack Mckeown and I am an Electronic Engineering student in the Department of Electronic Engineering at the University of York. I have an interest in Android development and programming in general, as well as neural networks.
I recently completed a student summer project at the University of York where I was responsible for creating an Android app. Using the app, a clinician can use a mobile phone to record a short sample of a patient walking, and extract basic gait parameters to assist with recognising any problems in the patient’s walking ability.
The gait of person refers to the manner in which they walk, and time and distance parameters can be obtained from measuring events during a person’s gait cycle.
These parameters should have constant and known values, but if a person has a condition which impairs their ability to walk, these parameters will have unexpected values which can be linked to certain conditions and disabilities.
The aim of the app is to allow a clinician to make quick and easy measurements on a patient to assess their current condition, and compare parameters to previous sessions to see how the patient’s condition has changed.
The patient is recorded using the phone’s camera and then the clinician can analyse the video as certain gait events occur.
A report is then compiled from this analysis session which documents the patient’s gait patterns. All of this can be done on a mobile phone, and only a short video is required to measure the parameters, making the app quick, easy and convenient to use.
The app has been demonstrated to consultants and has received positive feedback, as well as suggestions for features to add to the app in the future.
If you’re a medical technologies academic based in the Translate MedTech consortium and are interested in bringing on board a student to support your research this summer, learn more about the Translate MedTech summer student projects scheme here.