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In order to determine which prosthetic components, treatments and technologies will generate the best patient outcomes, evidence based outcomes research needs to be conducted. At the University of South Florida’s Center for Assistive, Rehabilitation & Robotics Technologies (CARRT) http://carrt.eng.usf.edu/, there are several interdisciplinary labs equipped with assessment tools for benchmarking gait specifically lower limb prosthetic gait.
Human Functional Performance Lab
The Human Functional Performance Lab has GAITRite Mat, a gait analysis walkway system that provides temporal spatial measures of gait, such as swing and stance time, stride length and width. This lab also has Bertec split belt instrumented treadmill surrounded by an 8 camera motion analysis system allowing for the kinematic and kinetic data collection and calculations during treadmill walking. A 12 channel Noraxon Myosystem with foot switches also allows for EMG recordings. A COSMED K4b2 portable metabolic system allows for determination of oxygen consumption during gait or running.
Rehabilitation Robotics and Prosthetics Testbed
The Rehabilitation Robotics and Prosthetics Testbed is equipped with an infrared Vicon motion analysis system that includes 8 MX-T20S cameras each with a 2.0 mega pixel resolution with a data collection speed of up to 690 frames/second as well as two Bonita 720c video cameras. This motion capture system also includes two AMTI OR6-7-1000 force platforms to allow for kinetic data collection and calculations. Various ramps, a gravel pit, stairs and a Solo-Step safety harness system allow for testing of lower limb prostheses in different terrains.
The CAREN system
The CAREN (Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment) is a versatile, multisensory system that includes a real-time motion capture system, a 6-DOF motion platform with a spilt belt instrumented treadmill, a projection screen, a surround sound system and an integrated software package. The CAREN system can be used to measure how individuals walk with a prosthesis and adapt to changes in the environment. By requiring lower limb amputees to face more real life scenarios while collecting objective measures using the CAREN system, issues such as prosthetic fit, alignment, and function related to patient attributes (i.e. age, etiology, amputation level) for various prosthetic configurations and components can be determined. Baseline assessments and re-creation of functional clinical tests will help examine and develop patient-centered outcomes for lower limb prosthesis users. The development of a multi-modal assessment tool, allows for a better understanding of the following: specific time points in patient treatment where prosthetic intervention is most effective; different treatment algorithms to determine the most appropriate prosthetic devices; effects of different prosthetic devices on achievement of maximal functional ability; prevention of secondary adverse consequences of prosthetic device use; and application of specific rehabilitation interventions.
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