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Researchers develop wearable technology to aid athletic assessments and rehabilitation

Shared by Sara Di Fabio on 2020-03-23 14:11

About the solution

Inspired by a former professional athlete, Prof. Hossein Rouhani from the mechanical engineering department at the University of Alberta, helped by Michael Xiu, a top student from China, is developing wearable technology to aid in athletic assessment and rehabilitation.

"Because of the incorrect or sub-optimal training he received during his childhood, later on after a few decades he suffered from muscular-skeletal injuries that led to his early retirement," Rouhani said referring to the former athlete.

The technology includes wearable sensors and augmented-reality headsets and shows the motion patterns of athletes in real-time with 3D avatars. The sensors, attached to shoes or skates, shins, thighs and helmets, detect subtle movements. The user’s performance can then be compared to targeted performance.

"So for us, it's important to develop some tools for instrumented athletic training so that we can minimize the risk of athlete injury," Rouhani said.

Wearable technologies are worn by professional athletes on international stages such as the Olympics. The sensors developed at the University of Alberta are unique because of their subtle, detailed observations and the technology’s ability to help users track their performance by themselves, using headsets.

According to what Rouhani said in 2019, the technology could be used for rehabilitation purposes and by university athletic teams in one or two years. Whereas the sensors are expected to be ready for professional athletes in three to four years.

Adapted from: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/u-of-a-lab-developing-wearable-t...

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About the author

Hossein Rouhani, from Iran living in Canada, is an assistant professor of the mechanical engineering department at the University of Alberta. He started developing wearable technology for athletic assessment and rehabilitation inspired by the conversation with a former professional athlete who suffered injuries due to incorrect or sub-optimal training.

Michael Xiu, 1999, from China, is an international student that helped Rouhani developing the technology as part of the Mitacs Globalink program, which recruits top students to advance Canadian research.

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