SOURCE: University of Calgary

University of Calgary

January 06, 2017 10:00 ET

University of Calgary researcher and team announce new software in running injury technology

Faculty of Kinesiology's Reed Ferber develops affordable system to analyze running-related injuries accurately

CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - January 06, 2017) - With every new year, comes new fitness goals. And with fitness goals, come injuries. Those who run are particularly at risk.

Faculty of Kinesiology researcher, Reed Ferber, PhD, has come up with a technology, run3 system, that makes it easier and less expensive to diagnose running injuries. The run3 system is the world's first single camera 3D gait system and does not require the placement of markers on the runner's body.

Running is the most popular recreational sport and popularity grows by over 10 per cent each year worldwide. Research has shown that approximately 50 per cent of runners suffer a running related injury each year.

One main method for health professionals to understand the root cause of a running injury is for them to conduct a running gait analysis. Until now, low-cost and highly scientific 3-dimensional (3D) gait analysis tools were unavailable for these professionals, leaving them to rely on simple 2D approaches or visual observation and opinions.

"Our goal has always been focused on improving healthcare through world-class research and the development of scientific tools for clinicians to use," says Ferber, who is also director and chief scientific officer, Running Injury Clinic, located at the University of Calgary.

"The run3 system represents the most sophisticated and accurate 3D gait system on the planet at a price every clinic can afford."

Introducing an accurate, low-cost solution

For three years, Ferber and his team conducted research and development towards the launch of the run3 gait analysis system that assists with biomechanical accuracy and provides clinicians with a highly accurate analysis.

Using a single Microsoft Kinect 2.0 camera, run3 is accurate to 1.5mm and provides a 3D biomechanical gait analysis in under five minutes. A run3 software license starts at $250 per month, and the Kinect 2.0 camera is $150.

"This could be a game-changer," says Jeremy Deere, former national running competitor and the owner of Strides Running Stores in Calgary. "In the past, we would never be able to afford a 3D gait system of this level. Now with the Run3 system, we can have results in minutes, have solid recommendations to help improve gait and fit clients with the correct shoes."

How it works

The run3 system joins the Running Injury Clinic's advanced 3D GAIT system using multiple cameras to scientifically measure movement patterns in all three dimensions. 3D GAIT is widely used by clinicians and academic researchers to provide the highest level of accuracy.

The run3 system maps the surface of a runner's body in real-time as they walk or run and the software scientifically compares the 3D "silhouette" with a normative model constructed using either the subject's previous data, or a statistical model generated from the world's largest database of running biomechanical and clinical data.

Funding for this research has come from both the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and Alberta Innovates Technology Solutions (AITF).

Next steps and new study

Users within Ferber's worldwide network of clinical partners, spanning from Canada to the US, New Zealand, Brazil, and Europe have been involved in early beta-testing. "We continue to expand our network and our goal is to make 3D gait analysis accessible for every clinic focused on incorporating scientific tools into their clinical practice," says Ferber.

Ferber is also using the run3 system to advance his injury prediction line of research. His lab has already published some of the first studies that show how baseline gait data can accurately predict whether a patient will respond or not to an eight-week treatment protocol.

If you have knee pain, and you're currently seeing a licensed healthcare practitioner (for example, physiotherapist, chiropractor) for treatment and want to be involved in this research, please contact Ferber (rferber@ucalgary.ca).

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is making tremendous progress on its journey to become one of Canada's top five research universities, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.'

For more information, visit ucalgary.ca. Stay up to date with University of Calgary news headlines on Twitter @UCalgary. For details on faculties and how to reach experts go to our media center at ucalgary.ca/mediacentre

Contact Information

  • Media Contact
    Leanne Yohemas
    Director, Communications and Marketing, Faculty of Kinesiology
    University of Calgary
    403.220.7652
    587.389.2336 - Mobile
    lmyohema@ucalgary.ca