Animation technology adapted for better mobility

A Queensland clinical research team is using computer animation technology to develop a three-dimensional model to view movement and gait in burns and stroke patients and those with acquired neurological disorders.

The team from the Queensland Motion Analysis Centre (QMAC) at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, led by biomechanical engineer Robyn Grote, has worked on paediatric motion analysis for some years and is now investigating adult patients and planning to develop a 3-D model for babies.

“The way a patient moves or walks can often reveal their problems to clinicians, but the human eye can only see two dimensionally,” Dr Grote said. “Motion analysis enables a three-dimensional digital model to be created to help pinpoint the root cause."

The group uses bio-reflective markers and cameras that send out strobe lights to construct a model of the human body. Sensors placed on the muscles, arms and legs evaluate muscle activity and force plates measure anterior and media lateral forces.

The technology has so far only been suitable for children over four, but the team hopes to use if for premature babies to enable early intervention, as well as to understand the pathophysiology of burns patients.

It can also be used for patients with neurological disorders, those recovering from accidents, the elderly and amputees.

The QMAC was officially opened yesterday.

Posted in Allied Health

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