Mobility Rehab visual feedback system for gait rehabilitation in older adults

Carla Silva-Batista, Graham Harker, Rodrigo Vitorio, Mike Studer, Brady Whetten, Jodi Lapidus, Patricia Carlson-Kuhta, Sean Pearson, Jess VanDerwalker, Fay B. Horak, Mahmoud El-Gohary, Martina Mancini*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Gait and balance impairments are among the main causes of falls in older adults. The feasibility and effectiveness of adding sensor-based feedback to physical therapy (PT) in an outpatient PT setting is unknown. We evaluated the feasibility and effectiveness of PT intervention combined with a therapist-assisted visual feedback system, called Mobility Rehab, (PT + MR) in older adults. Methods: Twenty-eight older adults with and without neurological diseases were assigned either PT + MR (n = 22) or PT alone (n = 6). Both groups performed 8 sessions (individualized) of 45 min long (30 min for gait training and 15 min for endurance, strength, and balance exercises) in an outpatient clinic. Mobility Rehab uses unobtrusive, inertial sensors on both wrists and feet, and at the sternum level with real-time algorithms to provide real-time feedback on five gait metrics (step duration, stride length, elevation at mid-swing, arm swing range-of-motion [ROM], and trunk coronal ROM), which are displayed on a tablet. The primary outcome was the Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale (ABC). The secondary outcome was gait speed measured with wearable inertial sensors during 2 min of walking. Results: There were no between-group differences at baseline for any variable (P > 0.05). Neither PT + MR nor PT alone showed significant changes on the ABC scores. PT + MR, but not PT alone, showed significant improvements in gait speed and arm swing ROM. The system was evaluated as ‘easy to use’ by the PT. Conclusions: Our preliminary results show that PT + MR improves gait speed in older adults with and without neurological diseases in an outpatient clinic. Clinical Trial Registration: , identifier: NCT03869879.

Original languageEnglish
Article number144
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes

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