Unobtrusive gait analysis using wearable sensors

Release human motion analysis from the lab by developing wearable kinematic sensor systems.

Gait analysis – the objective, data-driven analysis of (mostly) human motion – is an essential part of sports training, and the rehabilitation process after an injury or medical procedure. 

How do you collect those motion data? Tools such as (laser) cameras or pression plates do the job. But they only work in a ‘fixed’ environment, such as a lab. They don’t allow you to study a subject’s movements ... 

  • over longer timeframes, such as days, weeks or even months
  • in natural surroundings, such as the football field, office or living room

That’s why wearable kinematic sensors can take gait analysis to the next level.

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Some applications of gait analysis with wearable sensors

Wearable sensors can be used to monitor rehabilitation processes. For instance: they can track how soon someone regains his normal gait pattern after musculoskeletal surgery. Because of the unobtrusiveness of the sensors, doctors can track the patient remotely, while he picks up his daily routines at home. That leads to a more reliable assessment of his progress, and to more effective advice, such as specific exercises.

Additionally, the integration of technology helps to make training programs healthier and more effective – for professional and amateur athletes alike. Imec is a member of the EU-funded Nano4Sports program, resulting in prototypes of smart cycling outfits and smart skateboards. Sports equipment manufacturers are welcome to build on our research to make their own gear ‘smart’.

Complete technology stack for human motion analysis

Want to work with us? Join one of our R&D programs to get access to our technology platforms and tune them to your own product requirements.

Or enter into a bilateral collaboration with imec and trust on our in-house expertise to guide you through the entire development of innovative systems for gait analysis:

  1. Using off-the-shelf wearable sensors, we investigate their ideal placement on the human body for collecting relevant insights in view of your envisioned application. On top of that, we can design customized sensors.
  2. Our compact, versatile and low-power biomedical sensors-on-chip are optimized for multi-day monitoring and digital signal processing. 
  3. We develop algorithms that calculate the kinematics and derive actionable insight from the data.
  4. After building you a prototype, we can guide you through the necessary clinical trials.

Your end result is a market-ready solution for gait analysis with wearable sensors.

MUSEIC chip used in wearable sensors for gait analysis

Imec’s unique MUSEIC chip. An ultralow-power system-on-chip designed
to acquire and process biometric signals for healthcare applications

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