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Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing

University of Manchester researchers' Gait Analysis and Technologies findings lead to development of pressure-sensitive mats

13 August 2018

An article in The Economist reports on how our research has shown that the way people walk can be used for ID and health checks.

Dr Patricia Scully, of the School of Physics, and Prof Krikor Ozanyan, of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, along with their student Omar Costilla-Reyes, published their paper in January 2018 on the development of non-intrusive gait recognition by monitoring the force exerted on the floor during a footstep cycle.

The paper - a four-star paper that has been highlighted in The University of Manchester's showcase of top papers - and the research that it details, were reported by The Economist in a recent article.

The Economist article explores gait analysis mats and their various potential uses; such as in care homes where gait changes may be an indicator of illnesses, health conditions or impaired cognition, as a security measure in certain workplaces, or as an ID checker in airports.

Professor Krikor Ozanyan told MICRA: "We acquire data from a unique and unobtrusive floor sensor, capable of providing information over practically unlimited time.

"This data is particularly sensitive to changes in gait because of the tomography principles which we used for its design.

"By adding the artificial intelligence data processing, we achieve unprecedented accuracy in identifying pre-defined variants of gait.

"Our research hypothesis is that a rich longitudinal dataset from a person would make it possible to detect subtle changes in gait - to distinguish normal ageing from indications of a potential onset of mental illness."

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