Developing interactive biofeedback technology to enable patient recovery

Our team of researchers are developing innovative, interactive technology that will advance patient recovery and provide real-time updates to healthcare professionals.

Developing biofeedback technology in walking aids to enable patient recovery.


Research background

Nearly all patients recovering from limb problems use (NHS) supporting aids such as a walking stick or crutches to independently engage in various activities of daily living. However, there seems to be an increased likelihood of; patients starting to over rely on the supporting aids and fail to adhere to the postural / biomechanical recommendations proposed by the allied health professionals (such as the physiotherapists).

Consequently, as reported by the chartered society of physiotherapists, this increases:

  •              The recovery time of patients
  •              Out-patient waiting times
  •              The work caseloads of physiotherapy services and
  •              The work force issues within NHS provider organisations across the UK.

In response to the above mentioned issues; the project team comprising of; doctoral research student, academics (from School of Health Sciences / Department of Life Sciences, BCU), allied health professionals (from NHS) together with the medical device experts (Medical Devices Technology International – MDTi) aim to address the above mentioned issued by devising a Bio-feedback Stick Technology.

Research aims

The aim of the research is to; design, develop and evaluate a cost-effective Bio-feedback technology to analyse the gait and pressure applied by patients to a supporting aid.

While the proof-of-concept of the aforementioned technology is on its way, such a technology will be customised to fit into a standard walking stick or crutch and should optimise patient recovery and allow the therapist to consult the data and make informed judgments about levels of activity and applied loads.

How has the research been carried out?

This research involves a mixed-method approach and will acquire quantitative and qualitative data from service users in various clinical settings due to our upcoming collaboration with private medical device firms (Medical Devices Technology International) and NHS partners.

Research outcomes

The Biofeedback Stick Technology to be produced as an outcome of this research will be a new product in the UK medical devices market which will aim to improve the quality of life of walking stick users and clinical professionals – although this necessitates near future clinical trials / investigation.

For his research into this technology, Salman Abdullah has won a series of awards and valuable scholarships to advance the work.