Future motion capture methodology for clinical rehabilitation

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Biomedical Engineering


From 2010 to 2014 Prof Rowe and his research group led a multi university £1.5 M pound research grant from the Cross council Life Long Health and Wellbeing programme funded by all the research councils but in our case Mainly by EPSRC and MRC. This project called Envisage scoped out and piloted one way of undertaking rehabilitation in which the user was central to the process of rehabilitation. The project used Engineering in the form of motion capture technology and biomechanics, Visualisation in terms of computer generated graphics for visual feedback of movement and biomechanical information and Aging research understandings , Hence ENG, VIS, AGE, to pioneer a new form of clinical rehabilitation.

It has long been recognised that motor learning or motor relearning following injury required knowledge of your performance and of the result of your movement in terms of goal directed activity. However in clinical practice either the clinician is left to verbally explain what they have observed in this regard of the patients movement to the patient or to show them what they are doing in a mirror which is a reversal of the true movement and hence causes cognitive confusion. Photos and video capture can be deployed but have a single view point and a considerable time delay and frustrations before one is able to show the content to the client.

Envisage pioneered techniques for quick, inexpensive and 3D motion capture technology of the day to overcome these problems and to pioneer the use of clinical biomechanics and motion capture to provide this rehabilitative feedback. For this work we were awarded the 2014 Best project award from the Life Long Health and wellbeing research programme by MRC and represented RCUK at a parliamentary workshop in the house of commons organised by the Cross party subcommittee on Science and Technology in the Winston Churchill Rooms at Westminster.

Following this award winning work we have implemented the technology in a range of clinical and partner sites to research rehabilitation. Sites include Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Coathill Hospital Lanarkshire, Biggert Hospital Ayrshire and Arran NHS, The Southern General Glasgow, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Glasgow, Edinburgh Royal infirmary and Craighalbert special school Cumbernauld. We are also implementing it internationally for example in Mehidol University and Hospital Bangkok and Malawi University of Science and technology.

Further over the last few years we have worked informally and then formally with a funded grant from VICON Ltd of Oxford UK to develop a new generation of motion capture equipment specifically to meet the demand of the clinical arena and this type of rehabilitation. Some of this technology was launched by them in August of this year and the remainder is scheduled for launch in September 2019. This new technology platform will make the technology widely available in clinical practice by lowering both the capital cost but also the technical capabilities of staff required to run it.

The next phase of the development is to turn the prototype applications we have pioneered in the areas of stroke rehabilitation, orthopaedics, child rehabilitation, cerebral palsy , prosthetics and orthotics into bespoke free standing computer applications which can be run alongside the Vicon motion capture hardware and software. This studentship is to convert our practical understanding gained by piloting the technology and rehabilitation in clinical practice over the last few years into a new software and biomechanical platform which can work with the latest generation software and deliver these biomechanical visualisation and purposeful gaming applications in real time during clinical practice.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513349/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2267006 Studentship EP/R513349/1 01/10/2019 31/03/2023 Maisie Keogh