Introduction

Balanced Gait Test can be used by therapists to measure how balanced their patients gait is. Its use is especially indicated to monitor the progress of patients during rehabilitation processes. It is applicable in Traumatology and Neurology including prevention of falls.

It uses a free APP to measure the accelerations produced during the gait movements. Use this link to download it.
Note that you can use a medium-high range smartphone without communications contract (you can use WIFI to connect the Private Area).

How to

Balanced Gait Test

  1. Set the patient facing a rect, plain corridor with room enough for walking the programmed number of steps.
  2. Firmly fix the phone on the body with the screen vertical towards the walking direction.
  3. Explain the patient must walk with decision maintaining a comfortable velocity.
  4. Push the walking button to start a new Test.
  5. Wait the end of the first three beeps to start walking.
  6. The Test finishes with a beep after the programmed number of cycles have been measured. Now, the parameters are available in the screen.
  7. The send symbol allows to use the Private Area and get more detailed report about the performed Test.

Parameters

  • Cadence (CD) measures the number of steps per minute. 100 steps/minute is considered enough to pass the Test.
  • Symmetry of Forces (SF) measures the difference between the applied forces by each limb. The value 100 means a perfect balance of forces.
  • Symmetry of Time (ST): measures the difference between the duration of steps by each limb. The value 100 means a perfect balance of durations.
  • Homogenity of Forces (HF): measures the difference between the applied forces in consecutive steps. Value 100 means perfect homogeneity.
  • Homogenity of Time (HT): measures the difference between the duration of steps by the same limb in consecutive steps. Value 100 means perfect homogeneity.
  • Power (PW): measures the  power applied by the patient during the Test sesion. To pass the Test, this value must be upper than 90.
  • The value into the central circle shows the reliabiility of the obtained results. Low values means the patient style of walking is dificult to be recognized or the belt and the way of performing the Test has been incorrect.

Main screen of the instrument

  1. This is a spider web diagram with six parameters. It summarize the gait status. The larger and symmetric values mean the better Test result.
  2. The timestamp allows the therapist identifying the Test sesion. You can swap the screen to see other Test of the same patient.
  3. Patient code.
  4. This walking button allows to start a new Test session.
    Wait three beeps before the patient start to walk. The patient must walk with style decided and natural and following a straight line during the programed number of cycles. A beep announces the end of the Test.
  5. This button allows to send the Test data to Private Area.
    The instrument tries to connect with the server and then it confirms the result.
  6. Sent/No sent label shows if the session is already uploaded. You can make Tests without connection and later upload your Test data to Private Area.
  7. This menu allows modifying the settings and accessing some additional functions.
  8. Access to the web server:  https://balancedgait.com

Experiment with the tool
Try yourself to find out in which degree your own gait is balanced. Note that, in a first imprecise approach, you could carry the phone with your hands.

Obtain a carrier for the smartphone
In order to use the instrument adequately, the smartphone must be fixed in the waist using a belt.
Here you can find an example of comercial product.

Professional use of Balanced Gait
If you are interested in a professional use of the tool you can register as a therapist in the Private Area.

Use cases

Healthy and pathological gaits

It is important to realize that every person has a different style of walking. Indeed, a completely balanced gait is not the normal case.

Test from a healthy gait

Test from an intermediate unbalanced gait

Test from an unbalanced gait