Sensor Medica: Turning Dynamic Data into Treatment
Kendon Howard, CEO, North America“The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.”
— Leonardo da Vinci
Indeed it is an object of art as described by the most influential artist of all times, and its appearance is stark in various sports activities or for that matter each time a person walks or runs. But, many a time, physical trauma leads to the hindrance of its performance, resulting in excruciatingly painful muscular and skeletal movements. Just like any piece of art that requires dedicated maintenance, a human foot too needs earnest care to recover from the physical injuries, which is why podiatrists along with researchers have narrowed their focus on the biomechanics of the foot. Passionately involved with biomechanics and orthotics universities, experts, and researchers in ascertaining the right information required by podiatrists to diagnose the patient with foot problems since its inception in 2011, Sensor Medica has evolved as an oracle of baropodometric systems. The company designs and develops state-of-the-art solutions that optimize the human biomechanical balance. “We not only provide innovative solutions for foot functioning analysis, but deliver a comprehensive system that envelops diagnostics, rehabilitation, and treatment options such as custom foot orthotics which are driven by dynamic data,” asserts Kendon Howard, CEO, Sensor Medica North America. The solutions range from advanced human posture detection systems to complete analysis software, integrated with CAD-CAM software and a series of CNC machines for orthotic production.
There is no doubt that the market today is flooded with diagnosis systems for doctors and clinics to glean insights from massive data.Sensor Medica marks off from all these players in the biomechanics arena by putting the required information in the hands of medical care providers to treat patients efficiently. Providing access to the right information is the first stage of the company’s value chain, in fact, Sensor Medica goes ahead and offers clients the necessary software, CAD-CAM and CNC machine to build their orthotics products. Also, many organizations’ diagnosis environments are entangled between different software for various devices used to test different aspects, which makes it difficult for them to extract relevant data for diagnosis. Sensor Medica unsnarls their diagnostic atmosphere with its flagship software, freeStep, that seamlessly creates an all-inclusive environment for various biomechanics medical devices used in clients’ healthcare facilities. “freeStep eliminates the need of numerous specialized software to extract the result of gait, static, and posture analysis,” says Howard.
Sensor Medica brings a complete suite of devices ranging from the sensorized treadmill to pressure plate, walkways, and in-shoe systems all with the possibility of synchronization with video analysis, 3d motion and EMG.
We not only provide innovative solutions for foot functioning analysis but deliver a comprehensive suite that envelops diagnostic, rehabilitation, and treatment
As a multi-performing software, freeStep is integrated with all these devices and acts an enabler in the study of baropodometry, posture, and biomechanics. Each device is crafted for specific use in a medical facility. For example, the company’s treadmill allows highly accurate postural analysis and provides automatic indexing of symmetrical data, by calculating the plantar pressures during walking and running. On the other hand, the pressure plates and walkways give care providers detailed knowledge of the bare foot to understand its functioning, and the in-shoe system offers details of foot function when inside the shoes while running or any other activity. The in-shoe system is instrumental in evaluating not only the athlete in various types of activities but also the pressure applied on a diabetic foot, leading to a better treatment procedure. All of Sensor Medica’s products utilize top-of-the-line sensors with extremely high frame rates to ensure the accuracy of patient data.
“We offer solutions that help customers take data and turn it into treatment in the form corrective orthotic design,” says Howard. Data from Sensor Medica’s products are injected into freeStep to be presented to the users in a clear, concise, and user-friendly manner. As a platform, freeStep allows the comparison of patients’ condition against a set of benchmark parameters. Care providers can not only study a patient’s before and after treatment, but also analyze their condition before and after surgeries. Unlike other solution providers who perform diagnosis from a static position, organizations using freeStep can execute a comprehensive analysis of the body while in motion or under load to better design foot orthotics for the patients. Apart from providing diagnostic information from the sensors within its products and its software, the company aids treatment of foot orthotics by adding options such as soft tissue laser and other innovative solutions. “We bring objectivity in foot examination as clients can now see the exact stresses and pathway of center of pressure and view it simultaneously with integrated videos which give them an instant replay option, integrated and synchronized with the pressure and gait data, so it enhances the subjective visualization and couples it with objective data” explains Howard. As users watch the video, pressure, and gait analysis information is displayed simultaneously on the same screen.
“Sensor Medica’s ability to incorporate data from actual dynamic pressure and gait analysis into treatment and orthotic design and fabrication is one thing that sets us apart.” With the goal to bring the most accurate information on the clients’ table, the company has been extremely particular of the design of its software and sensors, ensuring their compatibility with end users requirements.
Clients have the liberty to fabricate orthotics by extracting data on-site with the company’s CNC and CAD/ CAM offerings or take the help of Sensor Medica, who carefully assesses the data sent by the customers and manufactures the orthotic products for them. By providing various devices for the analysis of a multitude of aspects motion analysis and foot function, the company engages in deep conversations with each client to interpret the nuts and bolts of their needs and simultaneously suggests and delivers a suitable solution. In many cases, it even delivers a combination of different devices depending on the customers’ requisites. And since these devices are effective in a single software environment, clients can reap the most out of each product. Apart from getting involved in a personalized installation process, Sensor Medica stands apart from the crowd because of its on-going support, which extends beyond the point of product implementation. “We listen to our customers to integrate their needs merged with new ideas into our devices and systems to lead the technological revolution,” says Howard.
Education has been a vitalpart of their engagement strategy for Sensor Medica since its genesis. Critical research is one of the top priorities of the company to uncover new ways its solutions can offer more information on various aspects of biomechanics—from sports performance to treating a diabetic foot and preventing ulcers. Education is not restricted for research alone, but Sensor Medica also participates in educating customers about its technology with the aim to help them understand the benefits of its solutions and how to utilize them to the fullest to treat their patients.
"The ability of Sensor Medica to incorporate data from actual dynamic pressure and gait analysis into product design and fabrication is one thing that sets us apart"
To stay on the cutting edge, the company adheres to one formula: never stop innovating and do so by listening to customers and integrate their feedback for the improvement of solutions. “We always aspire to design new solutions that add value to our customers, while continuously improving pressure data and video synchronization and refining sensor frequency,” adds Howard. Soon, Sensor Medica will release the next generation of freeStep, integrating additional components for motion analysis in tandem with pressure and gait analysis. The aim is to also integrate 3D kinematics, 3D spine scanner, and electromyography (EMG) into its solutions as well as additional soft tissue treatment options in order to offer an even more complete product to customers that desire to perform gait analysis and motion analysis in their clinics.
Howard calls attention to the innovation lab of Sensor Medica where progress is the only constant. The lab hosts a workforce that is passionate about biomechanics and foot orthotics, and shares that same zeal as the company’s management team. “I believe that if you have the right people recognized at every step, you can accomplish anything, and our success is the testimony,” concludes Howard.
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