mHealth Technologies’ new Gait Tutor promises real-time feedback and analysis to reduce freezing and stooped posture
A tech start-up company from the University of Bologna (Italy), mHealth Technologies, has created a new electronic device to help people with Parkinson’s (PwPs) improve their gait.
Gait Tutor is designed to monitor, measure and train walking through a day-by-day workout, using vocal messages to help prevent gait alterations such as freezing and stooped posture.
The device uses a smartphone app, a cloud-based service and three wearable wireless sensors, and aims to help PwPs who cannot easily access rehabilitation centres or supervision, the manufacturer said, working as a virtual therapist.
“Physical exercise can slow down Parkinson’s disease progression but efficacy depends on intensity, duration and frequency,” said Carlo Tacconi, CEO of mHealth Technologies. “Many patients do not get the amount of supervised motor rehabilitation and physical exercise they would need. This is even more true now that, in several countries, patients are not allowed to leave their homes due to the coronavirus.
“In addition to that, compliance to home-based rehabilitation protocols is generally poor because patients’ execution is not monitored and patients cannot receive feedback on their performance.”
Gait Tutor allows PwPs to train their gait whenever and wherever they like, under supervision and with real-time auditory feedback, he added.
Many patients do not get the amount of supervised motor rehabilitation and physical exercise they would need. This is even more true now that, in several countries, patients are not allowed to leave their homes due to the coronavirus
However, the device does not replace an actual therapist, the company said, and physical therapists will be able to remotely monitor the activities and set up personalised training plans.
The device is available to healthcare and rehabilitation centres, professionals and individual people with Parkinson’s via mHealth Technologies. The company would not disclose the price of Gait Tutor but said it offers a range of purchasing and leasing options.
The Gait Tutor mobile app
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The EPDA is sharing this article for information purposes only; it does not represent the EPDA’s views and is not an endorsement by the EPDA of any particular treatments, therapies or products.