A team of researchers at Purdue University modified a smartphone to measure the walking gait of a person with a compromised balance to prevent falls. The tool, named SmartGait, will help health care professionals in assessing a person’s risk of falling and in finding ways to avoid injuries.
The smartphone was fitted with a downward-looking wide-angle lens and an app that records and calculates gait length, gait width, and walking speed. A person wears the smartphone on his or her waist and the data is recorded using colored markers attached to the front of each shoe. The performance of the new system was compared to a laboratory system that uses sensors and infrared-emitting diodes, and was found to accurately calculate measurements for step length and step width at almost 95% and 90% respectively.