Design and Development of Biofeedback Stick Technology (BfT) to Improve the Quality of Life of Walking Stick Users

Abdullah, Salman (2023) Design and Development of Biofeedback Stick Technology (BfT) to Improve the Quality of Life of Walking Stick Users. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

Salman Abdullah PhD Thesis published_Final version_Submitted Nov 2022_Final Award Jan 2023.pdf - Accepted Version

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Biomedical engineering has seen a rapid growth in recent times, where the aim to facilitate and equip humans with the latest technology has become widespread globally. From high-tech equipment ranging from CT scanners, MRI equipment, and laser treatments, to the design, creation, and implementation of artificial body parts, the field of biomedical engineering has significantly contributed to mankind. Biomedical engineering has facilitated many of the latest developments surrounding human mobility, with advancement in mobility aids improving human movement for people with compromised mobility either caused by an injury or health condition. A review of the literature indicated that mobility aids, especially walking sticks, and appropriate training for their use, are generally prescribed by allied health professionals (AHP) to walking stick users for rehabilitation and activities of daily living (ADL). However, feedback from AHP is limited to the clinical environment, leaving walking stick users vulnerable to falls and injuries due to incorrect usage. Hence, to mitigate the risk of falls and injuries, and to facilitate a routine appraisal of individual patient’s usage, a simple, portable, robust, and reliable tool was developed which provides the walking stick users with real-time feedback upon incorrect usage during their activities of daily living (ADL).

This thesis aimed to design and develop a smart walking stick technology: Biofeedback stick technology (BfT). The design incorporates the approach of patient and public involvement (PPI) in the development of BfT to ensure that BfT was developed as per the requirements of walking stick users and AHP recommendations. The newly developed system was tested quantitatively for; validity, reliability, and reproducibility against gold standard equipment such as the 3D motion capture system, force plates, optical measurement system for orientation, weight bearing, and step count. The system was also tested qualitatively for its usability by conducting semi-informal interviews with AHPs and walking stick users. The results of these studies showed that the newly developed system has good accuracy, reported above 95% with a maximum inaccuracy of 1°. The data reported indicates good reproducibility. The angles, weight, and steps recorded by the system during experiments are within the values published in the literature. From these studies, it was concluded that, BfT has the potential to improve the lives of walking stick users and that, with few additional improvements, appropriate approval from relevant regulatory bodies, and robust clinical testing, the technology has a huge potential to carve its way to a commercial market.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
24 November 2022Submitted
12 January 2023Accepted
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biomedical Engineering
Subjects: CAH10 - engineering and technology > CAH10-01 - engineering > CAH10-01-06 - bioengineering, medical and biomedical engineering
Divisions: Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > Centre for Life and Sport Sciences (C-LASS)
Depositing User: Jaycie Carter
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2023 13:43
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2023 13:43

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