Falls in stroke survivors can be as high as 50%, with up to 39% experiencing one or more falls during their hospital stay and approximately three quarters of these falling within six months of being discharged.
The study, supported by the National Institute for Health Research’s Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (NIHR CLAHRC) for South Yorkshire, has developed an ‘intelligent’ shoe which uses a set of sensors to capture motion while stroke survivors practise vital rehabilitation exercises. The user then gets instant feedback on how fast they are walking, distance travelled, steps taken and whether there is equal weight distribution in their step and balance.
The new device could represent a significant advancement in stroke recovery as it makes it much easier for patients to continue with important rehabilitation exercises and for physiotherapists to track their progress. The system could transform stroke recovery by enabling patients to self-manage their ongoing rehabilitation in the comfort of their homes.
Institutions / organisations and researchers
- The system will be tested on half a dozen stroke survivors at Sheffield’s Assessment and Rehabilitation Centre shortly. A full evaluation will take place in the new year.
- Researchers will also be studying if the device can be adapted to help patients suffering with other long-term conditions better self-manage their illness.