According to the National Stroke Foundation, there are currently 8,000,000 stroke survivors over the age of 20, approximately 795,000 strokes occurring each year in the United States, and 610,000 of these being first-time strokes. Stroke costs the United States an estimated $73.6 billion each year, including the cost of health care services, medications and missed days of work. Stroke is expected to have the largest relative increase in real medical dollars spent over the next 20 years, increasing at a level of 238%. Approximately 50% of stroke patients have difficulty walking.
Design and Pilot Study of a Gait Enhancing Mobile Shoe
The Gait Enhancing Mobile Shoe (GEMS), that mimics the actions of the split-belt treadmill, but can be used during overground walking and in one’s own home, thus enabling long-term training. The GEMS does not require any external power and is completely passive; all necessary forces are redirected from the natural forces present during walking.
Developing a Gait Enhancing Mobile Shoe to Alter Over-Ground Walking Coordination.
The mobile ability of the GEMS outlined in this paper enables it to be worn in different environments such as in one's own house and also enables it to be worn for a longer period of time since the GEMS is completely passive. Healthy subject testing has demonstrated that wearing this shoe for twenty minutes can alter the wearer's gait and will generate after-effects in a similar manner as a split-belt treadmill does.
Motion controlled gait enhancing mobile shoe for rehabilitation.
The new motion controlled gait enhancing mobile shoe improves upon the previous version's drawbacks. This version of the GEMS has motion that is continuous, smooth, and regulated with on-board electronics. A vital component of this new design is the Archimedean spiral wheel shape that redirects the wearer's downward force into a horizontal backward motion. The design is passive and does not utilize any motors.