Development and evaluation of a novel wearable gait analysis tool for remote monitoring and assessment of patients with musculoskeletal injuries

Regular physical activity is known to produce significant physical and mental health benefits, yet only 15% of Canadian adults meet the recommended guidelines. Running is one of the most popular leisure-time physical activities and is effective even in low doses. However, runners sustain a high rate of musculoskeletal injury, with up to 50% suffering an injury annually. Many injuries are due to abnormal running form. The emergence of wearable technology has presented an opportunity not only to collect information on running form outside of a research lab setting, but also remotely. This project aims to develop and evaluate an innovative remote gait assessment system using wearable technology that will allow clinicians to measure, monitor, and reassess patients with gait impairments remotely. This tool has the potential for physiotherapists to assess running injuries clinically in a way that currently is only possible in research settings. The development of a clinical assessment tool to objectively measure running gait outside of a lab is an exciting opportunity especially as COVID-19 is reshaping the way health care is delivered and increasing telehealth options for clinicians to work remotely.