Monitoring Metabolic Energy Expenditure Via the Prosthetics of Lower Extremity Amputees
The goal of this project was to develop a self-contained, low-cost, and automated system that can be embedded into lower extremity prostheses to track the metabolic demands of users in laboratory, clinical, and home settings. It is well established that lower-limb amputees show greater metabolic demands during gait and more limited mobility compared to non-disabled individuals. Currently, there is no lower-extremity prosthesis available that can monitor the metabolic costs of the amputee.
Barron Associates has developed the LimbTeq system, which provides an accurate, low-profile, and convenient metabolic energy expenditure (EE) and physical activity (PA) intensity level monitor that is compatible with lower limb prostheses. The LimbTeq system also provides real-time user feedback via a wireless handheld touchscreen device. Such feedback will be helpful to the user, for example, to establish daily activity goals and progress towards meeting them during and following rehabilitation, as well as provide a means of metabolic and kinematic data sharing with healthcare personnel (e.g., for use in assessing both physical and mental health). Furthermore, unlike traditional activity monitors that must be separately donned, the LimbTeq system will always be with the amputee, collecting EE and PA intensity level data whenever the prosthesis is worn.
We gratefully acknowledge the support the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. Work on the LimbTeq system was performed under Contract No. W81XWH-12-C-0055.