Gait is now recognized as the 6th vital sign and serves as a valuable indicator of health and mobility status. Previously, clinically-validated gait analysis technology was only available in lab settings, making it costly and inaccessible. With the development of new digital health technologies, providers can now collect objective gait and motion analysis data about their patients for heightened insight that enables them to better tailor treatment and provide proactive intervention when necessary.
What is there to learn from your patient’s gait analysis?
No two people walk the same way, which is why gait analysis has become a particularly useful tool for better understanding individual patients from a more holistic lens. Mobility status directly impacts how a person can interact with their environment and live a fulfilled life, which is why understanding and addressing functional mobility concerns is imperative for healthcare providers. Gait analysis is applicable across multiple healthcare sectors and can be used to:
- Identify changes in mobility status and functional declines
- Perform multi-faceted, thorough fall risk assessments
- Establish a preoperative baseline and track postoperative progress
- Understand the impact of disease on mobility
- Highlight intervention efficacy objectively
- Assess and predict risk for frailty
- Leverage data for remote therapeutic monitoring (RTM)
Traditionally, objective gait analysis has only been performed in lab settings with expensive equipment. Observational gait analysis is more commonly used in clinical practice due to the lack of access to gait analysis technology. While observational analysis done by a trained professional can reveal important mobility data, it is difficult to quantify and standardize given the subjective nature.