Description

Patients gone through leg injuries, fraction, surgery, or amputation, in the rehabilitation phase it is advised to put a certain load on the leg in the hope of successful recovery. This is normally defined by the therapist/doctor by showing the feeling of the proper load to the patient, who needs to remember to it. When the defined value of load is exceeded it is overloading, when it stays underneath it is underloading. Generally there are two types of patients to be distinguished: the everyday man, who perform less load, walking, training, etc. than what is prescribed. It hurts, he rests. The other type is the sportsmen who load way more than reasonable. Surprisingly both groups act so in the hope of faster recovery and rehabilitation. In real, none of them reach the goal, more set it back. Furthermore not only the amount of load is important, but also the symmetry between the two legs.

Solution

The principle solution to the problem is to monitor the activity of the patient, not only in the hospital,  but also anywhere throughout the rehabilitation period. Three problems had to be solved: first measuring  the actual load, the amount and the duration (1). Then the data has to be compared to the desired value (also considering the load distribution, symmetry question), and warn the user to the situation (2). Some data also have to be collected referring to the overall rehabilitation period (3). The product has two main parts: the shoe insoles with built-in pressure sensors, and the control box which is to be attached on the ankle. The unit could be attached to the shoes of the patient, and able to control if the limb is over or under loaded, the degree and distribution of load, indicates if the patient over- or underloads the limb, and it is also able to contemporarily save the data for further evaluation. The measurement of the load is done by foil sensors on four points according to the right walking pattern. The over- or underload is normally indicated by vibration, and in a critical situation by beeping.

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