Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH) entails a broad scope of disciplines, from pharmaceuticals to medical technology and from healthcare infrastructure to vaccination. To realise its mission – vital citizens in a healthy economy - the Top Sector builds on the strengths of the Dutch LSH sector to address the biggest societal challenges in prevention, cure and care. By funding multidisciplinary public-private partnerships (PPPs) the Top Sector aims to facilitate innovation. Here we give an overview of  a number of funded R&D projects by Top Sector LSH. The page is updated continuously.

GaReC: Gait Rehabilitation Clinical (GaReC) decision tool

Gait Rehabilitation Clinical (GaReC) decision tool: Decision tool for optimising orthotic prescription and evaluation

In this project the Sint Maartenskliniek, OIM Orthopedie and Radboudumc will collaborate to develop a decision tool to optimise the process of prescription and evaluation of orthotic devices.

Recovery of balance and gait capacity is the primary aim in patients with neurological or muscular disorders to optimise daily functioning. Despite the training effort during rehabilitation, many patients remain with gait and balance impairments. Orthotic devices, like orthopaedic shoes or orthoses, are commonly prescribed to improve balance and gait. During the process of the prescription of orthotic devices, a multidisciplinary team of a rehabilitation physician, orthotist, shoe technician and physiotherapist work together.

Currently, this process of prescription and evaluation of orthotic devices is not optimally organised in clinical practice. For an optimal orthotic design, the patient characteristics and their functional disorders (balance and gait problems) need to be assessed. However, for the majority of patients, the orthotic design choices are based on subjective assessment and optimised by trial and error later on in the process. As a consequence, a large group of patients receive suboptimal orthotics. Moreover, suboptimal orthotics lead to non-use of the expensive orthotic devices and numerous repeat visits and thus higher costs. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to optimise the process by developing a decision tool for orthotics, which is called the GaReC (Gait Rehabilitation Clinical decision tool). The GaReC decision tool will use objective measurements in order to prescribe and evaluate orthotics in a more standardised objective way.

The following challenges will be covered in the GaReC project:

1.     Identify key factors in orthotics that influence the gait pattern
2.     Develop easy and quick measurement methods to assess key parameters objectively
3.     Develop, test and implement the GaReC decision tool

At the end of the project, the GaReC decision tool has been developed. In addition, an easy and quick gait analysis method will be developed.