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Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing

Healthy volunteers sought to gather data on movement patterns using the 'magic carpet'.

21 February 2017

University of Manchester researchers Dr Patricia Scully, Professor Krikor Ozanyan and PhD candidate Omar Costilla-Reyes are seeking volunteers to gather more data on movement patterns on the 'magic carpet'.

The researchers are part of the team that developed the 'magic carpet', a device which monitors footsteps using a series of fibre optic cables. It has been dubbed 'magic' because it can warn of changes in walking style, and help raise the alarm that someone could be heading for a fall. As many as 30%-40% of community-dwelling older people fall each year.

Gathering data from volunteers will build movement profiles, and this will enable the development of the carpet device to be fitted in care homes, hospitals and people's homes, where it will identify problems before a fall happens.

Volunteers are required to walk on the magic carpet in a variety of ways while their movements are recorded. It will take around 30 minutes.

The inclusion criteria are as follows:

  • Aged between 30 and 70 years. 
  • Able to walk independently without help.
  • Do not have any medical condition that impedes you walking freely, nor taking any medications that increases risk of falls.
  • Have not experienced a fall within the last 6 months', where fall is defined as an unexpected contact with a floor surface.
  • Do not have any acute illnesses, major depression, or history of stroke, or any other illness that would diminish normal, walking ability.

The study is taking place on the D floor of the Sackville Street Building, University of Manchester, any weekday between 9am and 4pm.

The deadline for this study is 31st March 2017. If you would be able to participate please email Omar Costilla-Reyes on omar.costillareyes@manchester.ac.uk or telephone 07774670667.

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