Ted Price investigates gait-analysis technology

Moticon shoe insoles

Moticon insoles are a relatively             
inexpensive tool for gait analysis

Grad student Ted Price is investigating gait-analysis shoe insoles for his master’s thesis.

Gait-analysis is an important clinical tool in sports medicine, orthopedics, and neurology. For example, doctors might use gait analysis to determine the effects of Parkinson’s disease in a patient or to determine how well a patient is recovering after a sports injury.

Current technologies assisting with gait analysis include having the patient walk on force plates or using motion capture systems, but these systems are often expensive and limiting in their analysis. Patients are only evaluated in one room, and this analysis only captures a piece of their day to day movements.

Enter the Moticon Shoe Insoles. The German-based company has developed shoe insoles that are wireless and can store up to five hours of reaction forces, pressure forces, and acceleration, thereby providing valuable clinical information. These insoles are cheaper than a motion-tracking system, and require no specialized training to use. But is the data accurate?

This is what Price is investigating. Using Miami’s kinesiology lab, Price will walk the shoes across force plates and evaluate whether the reported data is the same between the two methods.

Then he will evaluate the technology using different types of running shoes. There are three different types of running shoes based on how an individual tilts their feet as they run. These shoes have padding dispersed differently throughout the running shoe.

Price is looking into how the different shoe configurations affect the accuracy of data given by the sensors. Although the Moticon Shoe Insoles seem like an excellent diagnostic tool, Price is investigating whether they are too good to be true.

The bulk of his research will be carried out in the upcoming school year, advised by James Chagdes, assistant professor in the mechanical & manufacturing engineering department. Price plans to graduate with his master’s degree in mechanical engineering in May 2018.

By Paige Smith