Validation study with STAPP ONE Research: Interview with professor Agnes Wilhelm, MSc

Validation study with STAPPONE Research: Interview with professor Agnes Wilhelm, MSc, at the Department of Health Science, degree program physiotherapy from the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems

The IMC University of Applied Science Krems (AT) is currently conducting an interesting feasibility study for persons suffering from idiopathic Parkinson’s syndrome. The medtech product STAPPONE Research plays a crucial role as it does not only record and analyze objective gait parameters, but also validates Charco Neurothech’s CUE1 medical device in a cross-over design.

In the study on idiopathic Parkinson’s syndrome at the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems, two different tests are performed with the patients: A 10 meter walking test and the freezing-of-gate score. All patients wear stappone sensor soles in order to record additional gait parameters such as step length, cadence, double stance phase or duration of the gait cycle.

At the same time, the CUE1 device from the company Charco Neurotech is used in the study. This is a medical product that utilises pulsed cueing and focused vibrotactile stimulation to alleviate some of the movement symptoms of parkinson’s such as slowness and stiffness of movement, and freezing of gait. In the study, the test persons wear the stapp one sensor soles and the CUE1 device. They are asked to perform the tests – once with the CUE1 device switched on and once switched off. Meanwhile, stapp one measures the movement parameters so that they can subsequently be compared to investigate the effect of the CUE1 on these parameters, and its acceptability to its users.

“Our goal is to use this information to set up a larger study where the effectiveness of the CUE1 device can be examined ” Agnes Wilhelm says.

Gait analyses independent of location

Inserted into a comfortable show the intelligent stappone sensor sole measures the foot pressure load as well as other gait parameters. The corresponding medical software provides a visual live-biofeedback in real time as well as objective data on other relevant movement parameters.

“The great advantage of STAPPONE Research, especially in our setting, is that we can easily perform a gait analysis and record the parameters without a gait lab,” Agnes Wilhelm says enthusiastically. “That means we are flexible in terms of space and also in terms of how the tests are performed. In the Freezing-of-Gate Score, the test person has to get up from a chair, walk one meter, turn 360 degrees clockwise, then turn counterclockwise and then walk through a door. Capturing these parameters would be extremely time-consuming and complex in a traditional gait lab.” This also includes climbing stairs or walking a parkour, perhaps even outdoors. According to Agnes Wilhelm, stapp one is very flexible in its use and offers many possibilities, such as climbing stairs or walking a parkour, perhaps even outdoors

As reported by Agnes Wilhelm, the setup of the soles is also very simple, fast and takes less than three minutes. Additionally, the test persons also found the soles pleasant and comfortable – an important point for the study’s validity.

Valuable objective data

Objective data is particularly valuable in research. “Gait parameters such as stride length, cadence, and double stance phase are parameters that we would otherwise not be able to capture, but especially as it relates to freezing-of-gate, they are important clues to identify when freezing-of-gate occurs and what changes in relation to it when the CUE1 Device is used.“

“I would definitely recommend stappone to my colleagues. In addition to research, it can also be used in practice, for example, and may be applicable to home visits where there is absolutely no other opportunity for such assessments.”

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