(12) United States Patent ao) Patent No.: us 6,183,425 Bi
Whalen et al. (45) Date of Patent: Feb. 6,2001
(54) METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR
MONITORING OF DAILY ACTIVITY IN
TERMS OF GROUND REACTION FORCES
(75) Inventors: Robert T. Whalen, Los Altos; Gregory A. Breit, Sunnyvale, both of CA (US)
(73) Assignee: The United States of America as
represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC (US)
( * ) Notice: Under 35 U.S.C. 154(b), the term of this patent shall be extended for 0 days.
(21) Appl. No.: 08/540,614
(22) Filed: Oct. 13, 1995
(51) Int. CI.7 A61B 5/103
(52) U.S. CI 600/592; 600/595
(58) Field of Search 128/774, 782,
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Primary Examiner—Samuel G. Gilbert
Assistant Examiner—Pamela L. Wingood
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Robert M. Padilla; Gary G.
Borda; John G. Mannix
A device to record and analyze habitual daily activity in terms of the history of gait-related musculoskeletal loading is disclosed. The device consists of a pressure-sensing insole—placed into the shoe or embedded in a shoe sole— which detects contact of the foot with the ground. The sensor is coupled to a portable battery-powered digital data logger clipped to the shoe or worn around the ankle or waist. During the course of normal daily activity, the system maintains a record of time-of-occurrence of all non-spurious foot-down and lift-off events. Off line, these data are filtered and converted to a history of foot-ground contact times, from which measures of cumulative musculoskeletal loading, average walking- and running-specific gait speed, total time spent walking and running, total number of walking steps and running steps, and total gait-related energy expenditure are estimated from empirical regressions of various gait parameters to the contact time reciprocal. Data are available as cumulative values or as daily averages by menu selection. The data provided by this device are useful for assessment of musculoskeletal and cardiovascular health and risk factors associated with habitual patterns of daily activity.
2 Claims, 12 Drawing Sheets
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