[en] Monitoring plantar load conditions becomes useful in many health care fields, e.g. podiatric and orthopedic applications, rehabilitation tools, sports and fitness training tools, and in-field diagnosis and prevention tools for posture, balance, loading and contact times monitoring. IEE target is to provide a single insole-solution for daily usage in order to acquire information on the plantar load distribution for health prophylaxis in a large range of different shoe configurations. In this paper, we introduce for the first time a new High-Dynamic (HD) multi-cell smart insole sensor enabling advanced real-time foot plantar pressure monitoring applications. The in-situ measurement of the dynamic plantar load distribution provides an important new source of information that can be combined with traditional monitoring systems often based on accelerometer and gyroscope sensors. In fact, the new smart insole as presented here, facilitates the discovery in an early phase of any biomechanical mismatch in the walking or running gait of its user. Specific datasets have been recorded from a representative healthy population with different monitoring tools, i.e. force plate, pressure matrix and our new smart insole. The aim was to study the similarity of measurements recorded by each system on a defined measurement protocol. It is shown that the new monitoring device provides a competitive methodology to measure static and dynamic foot plantar pressure distribution. The system flexibility and robustness enable the development of new real-time applications, such as high peak pressure detection for diabetics, activity tracking, etc. The paper is organized as follows: we provide in Sect. 1 an overview of challenges and opportunities around foot pressure monitoring and discuss the sensing capabilities. Then we give a description of the new smart insole designed by IEE in Sect. 2. Next we define in Sect. 3 the measurement protocol based on 3 different systems, followed in Sect. 4 by a comparison of their efficiency and reliability. Finally, Sect. 5 provides related works and Sect. 6 concludes the paper.
Physical, chemical, mathematical & earth Sciences: Multidisciplinary, general & others