January 6, 2022
Center for Assistive Technology and Rehabilitation Engineering Solutions (PSG CARES) is a DST sponsored Center of Excellence
established in 2019 at the PSG College of Technology under the department of Computer Science and Engineering. It strives to develop
innovative and cost effective wearable / smart healthcare / solutions.
The PSG CARES research team comprising Dr L S Jayashree , Professor , Department of CSE as the Principal Investigator and Ms.S.Swathi and
Mr.P.Soundaryan as the Project Associates has successfully developed a first-of-its kind Wearable Gait Monitoring and Fall Prediction Device named Gait Watch TM.
It is an indigenously developed patent protected innovation of PSG CARES funded by DST’s SEED division f under the scheme Technology Interventions for Disabled and Elderly. Gait watch attempts to replace
the sophisticated, scarce and costly gait labs with an affordable, simple and easy to use technology.
Falls are one of the main causes of morbidity and disability among the elderly. More than one-third of persons 65 years of age or more fall each year, and in half of such cases the falls are recurrent. Do you know more than 60% of elders above the age of 70 years fall down due to gait imbalance?. Of that falls, 80% result in injury or fracture needing hospitalization. Few of them are also fatall.
Falls may be either due to extrinsic factors like environmental hazards, poor lighting conditions etc or due to Intrinsic factors like neuro muscular degenerative disorders, weakness due to aging, gait disturbances, cognitive impairments etc. Gait watch is designed for
the second category of falls – it estimates the fall risk score of an individual taking into account all possible intrinsic fall risk
factors including spatio temporal gait characteristics of the individual accurately captured over a trial walk session. It then
provides a combined fall risk score taking into the qualitative and quantitive fall risk factors using an innovative fall risk assessment model developed by the research team. Gait watch screens patients with
geriatric, neurological or orthopedic conditions for their stability problems resulting in timely identification and avoidance of an imminent fall thus saving huge cost as well as mental agonies for the
family members and care takers.It is a wearable gait assessment and fall risk prediction device designed for elderly and by and large for
people suffering from movement related disorders. It is a simple and effective solution to conduct accurate assessment of the gait quality of an individual in just a few minutes. Here is how the gait test is
conducted with Gait watch: The device is fastened to the patient’s knees on both the legs and he or she is asked to walk for about 30 seconds at his or her usual pace. The details of the patients and their pre medical conditions are captured through the Gait watch
mobile app. Once the brief walk session is over, their gait report is generated which includes the accurate values of the various gait characteristics, the gait type and the fall risk score generated using an enhanced fall risk assessment model. The device was selected by the DST for mass production and commercialization in May 2020 and a note
on this was published in PIB portal of Govt of India. The research team has obtained the Ethical clearance for human trials by the
Instuitional human ethical clearance committee of PSG Institute of Medical Science and Research in January 2021. Since then, field trials and clinical trials are being conducted and the reports generated are validated by leading medical practitioners. The trials have been conducted at the Orthopaedic dept of PSG Institute of Medical Science, Salem Neuro Foundation, Stroke Rehab centre of PSG IMSR as
well as in few other physiotherapy centres on more than 700 patients till date and the study is still going on .
Salient Features of the Device:
• The standalone user friendly wearable device is primarily meant for predicting the fall risk of geriatric population.
• Assists a medical practitioner or
physiotherapist by measuring the gait metrics like step length, stride length, velocity, cadence, swing phase and stance phase to
comprehensively assess and quantify the gait wellness of an individual.
• Supports the geriatric population with Parkinson’s disease and similar disorders by monitoring their gait wellness at regular intervals and evaluate the effects of therapeutic interventions / disease progression
• Supports the individuals in rehabilitation stage after spine related injuries, stroke survivors etc. to monitor their gait recovery.
• Attempts to replace the sophisticated, scarce and costly gait labs with an affordable, simple and easy to use technology. Gait watch has now reached full scale commercialization stage. The technology has been transferred to Agna Inc. for mass production and commercialization.
The technology has been chosen as one of the promising technologies for incubation
mentoring programme ( SPARK) of Stanford University through PSG STEP.