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Validation of a smart shoe for estimating foot progression angle during walking gait

Haisheng Xia, Junkai Xu, Jianren Wang, Michael A Hunt, Peter B Shull
Journal of Biomechanics 2017 August 16, 61: 193-198
The foot progression angle is an important measurement related to knee loading, pain, and function for individuals with knee osteoarthritis, however current measurement methods require camera-based motion capture or floor-embedded force plates confining foot progression angle assessment to facilities with specialized equipment. This paper presents the validation of a customized smart shoe for estimating foot progression angle during walking. The smart shoe is composed of an electronic module with inertial and magnetometer sensing inserted into the sole of a standard walking shoe. The smart shoe charges wirelessly, and up to 160h of continuous data (sampled at 100Hz) can be stored locally on the shoe. For validation testing, fourteen healthy subjects were recruited and performed treadmill walking trials with small, medium, and large toe-in (internal foot rotation), small, medium, and large toe-out (external foot rotation) and normal foot progression angle at self-selected walking speeds. Foot progression angle calculations from the smart shoe were compared with measurements from a standard motion capture system. In general, foot progression angle values from the smart shoe closely followed motion capture values for all walking conditions with an overall average error of 0.1±1.9deg and an overall average absolute error of 1.7±1.0deg. There were no significant differences in foot progression angle accuracy across the seven different walking gait patterns. The presented smart shoe could potentially be used for knee osteoarthritis or other clinical applications requiring foot progression angle assessment in community settings or in clinics without specialized motion capture equipment.


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