Case study

How StepLab is transforming the physical lives of the elderly

26 Apr, 2022

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How StepLab is transforming the physical lives of the elderly

with Xsens DOT

Zero C Seven is a Japanese company specializing in the sale and distribution of medical research equipment and electronic parts. The company has been a distributor of Xsens MVN products for over 10 years and is built from a team of experts in the field of motion capture sensor technology.

Zero C Seven is now utilizing its own in-house expertise in motion sensor applications, building an entirely new Gait Analysis application from the ground up. StepLab uses the Xsens DOT development platform for wearable sensors to help individuals, businesses, and research institutions assess movement patterns outside of a lab setting.

The application

Zero C Seven designed StepLab to address the growing clinical need for movement analysis applications in Japan. With a large elderly demographic in the country, gait analysis can provide clinicians and healthcare professionals with in-depth movement data in environments suitable for patients that find it difficult to be assessed in lab settings.

StepLab is an iOS app available on an iPad or iPhone. Designed exclusively for Xsens DOT, users place one sensor on each foot to begin the analysis. After connecting wirelessly to the device, users can complete walking movement patterns, with relevant data being streamed to the iPad or iPhone.

Data captured from the sensors is then analyzed and presented in an easy-to-understand Gait Analysis report, including all of the relevant parameters for gait assessment, such as the number of steps, distance in meters, gait speed, cadence, and much more. Without the need for a high multitude of sensors, cameras, or a full suite, patients or users that are less physically able can still comfortably complete assessments.

Use in real-world settings

During the development of Steplab, Zero C Seven spent time speaking to professionals working in both educational and clinical institutions to find out how they could improve the assessment of patient mobility and physical health. Clinicians needed a motion sensor that was easy to wear for people of all ages, specifically something that elderly people could wear easily in non-lab environments without causing discomfort. The Xsens DOT development platform matched these requirements perfectly.

“Having developed such a strong working relationship with Xsens and a technical familiarity with the MVN inertial systems, we felt confident that we could build an effective, gait analysis tool powered by the Xsens DOT sensors. With StepLab, some of the most vulnerable people in the society can gain access to better care and rehabilitation,” said Tak Ikeda, Director of Sales, CSO.

As well as providing in-depth data to medical professionals, StepLab can also be used in commercial environments. A shoe brand in Japan that stocks shoes for the elderly have been using StepLab to conduct Gait analysis on potential customers across its 10 stores. With StepLab available for use in-store, individual assessments can inform the customer as to which shoes are most suitable for each individual’s requirements. In turn, this provides a completely unique and bespoke offering, delivering shoe soles and designs that match that person and improving the everyday experience of its customers.

Improving the life of the most vulnerable

Simplicity is at the heart of the StepLab user experience. Individuals with little to no experience in physical assessments can easily complete a Gait analysis report, providing easy-to-read data that can be used by professionals and carers to improve their standard of living. Individuals living in Europe, the US, and Asia all now have access to StepLab licenses on iOS systems, only needing two Xsens DOT sensors to complete an assessment.

StepLab is already commercially available to individuals, businesses, and research facilities globally, with the application set to transform the physical health of people everywhere. StepLab is currently moving to the cloud. This realization makes it easy to understand various statistics, comparisons with arbitrary parameters, changes in personal data, and so on. It will also be useful for comprehensive community care.

“With the incredible accuracy and useability of Xsens DOT sensors, we’re now providing access to cutting-edge Gait analysis to anyone that needs it. StepLab is designed to improve the everyday lives of people that lack the facilities needed to make informed decisions,” added Tak.

The Xsens DOT platform gives developers complete freedom to build innovative applications that can use the motion tracking capabilities of the DOT sensors. Already, the Xsens DOT has been used to build applications in personal fitness, physical health, and education, with more solutions being developed all of the time. Read more about the incredible range of successful applications built with Xsens DOT on our blog.

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