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Media technology in physiotherapy

UAS St. Pölten developed innovations for healthcare

Media technology in physiotherapy
Copyright: Martin Lifka Photography

Recently, the project GAIT Score was presented at the UAS St. Pölten. It designed for physiotherapists an interactive educational software for gait analysis.

The project was presented during the closing event of the larger research project CARMA (Centre for Applied Research in Media Assisted Healthcare for Motion and Activity), in which the UAS St. Pölten during the last three years has combined media technology and health sciences for innovative approaches to diagnosis and treatment.

Educational software for physiotherapy

The GAIT Score project developed and tested an educational software that enables physiotherapists to train individualized and playfully in clinically observed gait analysis. The software shows the users videos of people with and without gait deviations and with an analysis tool offers the possibility to assess gait phases, gait patterns and diverse gait abnormalities. The learning progress can be compared with the solutions of gait analysis experts stored in the software.

"The assessment of gait pattern is an important tool for problem assessment, diagnosis and treatment evaluation for physiotherapists and many other professional groups in the medical field ", said Kerstin Lampel, head of the project as well as the study program Physiotherapy at UAS St. Pölten.

Playful learning

Digital Game-Based Learning has become indispensable in the conveyance of teaching contents. "With the educational software GAIT Score, through a points mechanism as a sort of reward, trainees can unlock more video examples. This game component increases motivation and raises ambition. Immediate feedback promotes active, experimental and problem-oriented learning",  said Lampel.

Use of the educational software in the bachelor programme Physiotherapy

In self-study, without the presence of teachers and regardless of time, location and duration, students in the study programme Physiotherapy at the UAS St. Pölten can use the software to extend their knowledge and improve their competence.

"From the demographic development and the increasing digitalization of the everyday life of physiotherapy students, the use of the educational software GAIT Score brings two circumstances into focus: on one hand, the new demands of this multimedia generation; and on the other hand, the increase of technical and methodological skills of future colleagues in the area of gait analysis", said Lampel.

Research field for media technology in healthcare

The GAIT Score project was embedded in the research project CARMA (Centre for Applied Research in Media Assisted Healthcare for Motion and Activity) at the UAS St. Pölten, which in the last three years has built a centre for applied research in media-supported health care with a focus on the areas of movement and activity.

"The research centre CARMA is dedicated to the challenges of an aging society and develops among others: assistance systems which enable independence and activity into old age. CARMA examines how concepts for prevention, therapy and rehabilitation can be optimized through the use of digital technologies - not only for the elderly but also for young people", explained Jakob Doppler, UAS-docent in the department Media and Digital Technologies at UAS St. Pölten and project director of CARMA.

Project GAIT Score (Gait Analysis Interactive Training)

The project developed an educational software for observational clinical gait analysis and was sponsored by the Lower Austrian Health and Social Fund NÖGUS.

Centre for Applied Research in Media Assisted Healthcare for Motion and Activity (CARMA)

CARMA is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology as well as Science, Research and Economy in the framework of the programme COIN development.

More about CARMA