A birds-eye view of the GaitShoe described in Bamberg et al’s award winning paper

While attending the recent International Conference of the IEEE* Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) conference in San Diego California, Stacy Bamberg, associate professor in the department of mechanical engineering at the University of Utah, received the Outstanding Paper Award for the IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine Journal.

EMBS is the world’s largest international society of biomedical engineers. The organization’s 9,100 members reside in some 97 countries around the world.  EMBS provides its members with access to the people, practices, information, ideas and opinions that are shaping one of the fastest growing fields in science.  Through the Outstanding Paper Award, each year the aforementioned EMBS journal distinguishes one paper that had a significant impact on the research area.

Along with coauthors Ari Benbasat, Donna Moxley Scarborough, David Krebs, and Joseph Paradiso, Bamberg’s paper, “Gait Analysis Using a Shoe-Integrated Wireless Sensor System,” showed that it is possible to instrument a shoe with sensors at a fraction of the cost of a motion analysis lab, while retaining the ability to obtain quantitative results corresponding to timing of foot contact and foot orientation and position. Interest in analyzing these gait parameters away from the clinic has exploded in the last several years since this work with published. Bamberg has continued to investigate this research, and is currently focusing on a similar system that helps amputees learn to walk without a limp via feedback through a smartphone, and in-home analysis of balance and stability in older adults.

Bamberg noted, “We were thrilled to have our work recognized with this esteemed honor at the recent Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference.  Every year, more and more researchers are exploring the advantages of instrumenting shoes and clothing with sensors to analyze how people are walking and moving in their homes and communities. It is exciting to see this field start to mature and result in devices that can truly go home with patients to make a difference in their every day lives.”

Along with professor Bamberg, the faculty within the department of mechanical engineering at the University of Utah conduct a wide variety of innovate research. Thematic areas of research excellence include micro/nanoscale heat transfer, sustainability, environmental fluid dynamics, biomechanics, computational mechanics, composite materials, ergonomics and safety, microfluidic systems, tribology, manufacturing, and robotics. These research activities complement our educational mission, address the ever- changing needs of industry and society, and contribute to the economic and social development of Utah and the nation.

*IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)