The portable gait analyser and balance scale invented by Professor Jeffrey Cheung clinch top prizes at the 45th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva.


張大健教授與團隊研發便攜式儀器分析步行姿勢和平衡指標,奪得多項國際發明大獎。

The portable gait analyser collects data to assess the way people walk for diagnosing abnormalities such as leg-length discrepancy.


便攜式步態分析器取得的步行數據可用作快速診斷如長短腳等問題。

Date: 08 Jun 2017 (Thursday)

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HKBU winning inventions help you walk the walk to health

浸大研發便攜式儀器分析步行姿勢和平衡指標 獲日內瓦國際發明獎 可用於運動醫學及治療

Professor Jeffrey Cheung, Adjunct Professor of the Department of Physics of HKBU and his team have invented a portable device to record and analyse the biomechanical data of a person’s physical activity, in particular, walking (ie gait). It assesses the gait quality, identifies problems, and determines the efficacy of therapeutic measures such shoes, insoles and other corrective footwear. By applying similar principles, the team also invented a portable balance scale to measure the balance index of a person for health monitoring and fall risk assessment. The team has submitted worldwide patent applications for its inventions, which clinched multiple top prizes at the 45th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva in April 2017.

The World Health Organisation lists walking as “the best exercise”. However, even with this simple activity, there can be issues. An improper walking stance may not only look awkward but also result in discomfort that will lead to long term injury. In order to address these potential problems, Professor Jeffrey Cheung and his team developed the “Portable Gait Analyser”. This new method places a single sensor behind a person’s waist to measure the movement along all three directions in just a few steps.

Professor Cheung said, “Every step a person takes is in fact a combination of oscillatory movement in three directions: upward-downward (vertical), forward-backward (horizontal) and sideways (lateral). With patent pending analytics algorithm, we can extract information such as cadence, posture, foot arch, coordination, knee bending, tremor, dynamic explosiveness, response time, foot dragging found in the elderly and many other kinetic parameters associated with walking in unprecedented details. This approach can replace the traditional methods based on force plates and sequential imaging technology. It can assess gait quality, impairment, footwear comfort and efficacy and other information in a matter of few minutes. The approach is simple, versatile, non-invasive yet with a high level of performance thus appealing to a wide market from clinical professionals to general consumers.

In addition to clinical applications, he added, “The detailed biomechanics and energy flow in every step, the information can be used to identify the performance potential of athletes and design tailor-made training methods.” 

A second invention is the “Portable Balance Scale” to assess the balance index by measuring a person’s balance ability so as to reduce the risk of falling. The measurement process is as simple as standing on a scale for around 10 seconds. By analysing a person’s body movement amplitude when he/she tries to maintain balance on an unstable platform, the specific index value can be measured. The portable balance scale offers a superior cost and size advantage over similar products in the market. The scale can be further advanced to incorporate other functions such as measuring weight, physical training, and recreation platform for interactive games. The simplicity, low cost and multiple functionalities make it suitable for the consumer market.

The two HKBU inventions clinched four top prizes at the 45th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva in April 2017. The “portable gait analyser” won the Gold Medal with Distinction in the Sport Category, and the Prize of the Romanian Association of Nonconventional Technologies (Special Medal). The “portable balance scale” won the Gold Medal in the Sport Category and the Prize of the Romanian Association of Nonconventional Technologies (Special Medal).

浸大物理系客席教授張大健教授與團隊研發可攜式裝置「便攜式步態分析器」,可記錄及分析使用者的體育活動的數據,特別是步行姿勢。它可分析步行姿勢的質素、識別問題所在,以及確定鞋類、鞋墊、矯正鞋等的治療功效。而應用相似的原理,團隊又研發了「便攜式身體平衡計」,可量度使用者的平衡指標,以監測體格健康和評估失去平衡而跌倒的風險。團隊已為新發明申請多國專利,並在今年四月於瑞士舉行的第45屆日內瓦國際發明展上取得多項大獎。

世界衞生組織指出,步行是世界上最好的運動,但如果步行者步姿不正確,除了影響外觀,更可能產生不適導致長期受傷。為解決此潛在問題,張大健教授與團隊研發「便攜式步態分析器」,只需於步行者的腰背繋上智能感應器,即可量度上下、前後和左右三個方向擺動的步行數據。

張教授說:「其實人走路時的每一步就是上下(垂直)、前後(水平)和左右(横向)三組擺動方向的結合。透過已申請專利的分析演算法,可得知步行者的步行規律、姿勢、足弓狀況、協調、雙膝彎曲度、顫抖狀況、爆發力、反應時間、長者步行時「拖步」的情況,以及多項以往未能探測的走路動態資訊。新方法有望取代傳統使用力板和順序成像記錄步態的技術﹔並可於數分鐘內分析步態質素、損傷、鞋類舒適度和功效等。分析器的使用方法簡單、用途廣泛、非侵入性且高效能的表現,具消費市場及臨床發展的潛力。」

除了臨床應用之外,張教授說:「得知每一步的詳細力學數據和能量流,故亦可用於發掘運動員的潛力,設計合適的培訓計劃。」

另一項發明「便攜式身體平衡計」可量度人的平衡能力,評估使用者的平衡指標,以減低跌倒的風險。每個人在不平衡的台階上,身體需作出一定的移動幅度作平衡。使用者只需站立在平衡計上約十秒,平衡計便可記錄其用作平衡的移動幅度,得出其平衡指標。此產品比現有同類產品更便宜、更輕巧,適用消費市場。展望將來,平衡計可加入更多功能,如既可測體重、體力訓練、家庭娛樂設施如體感遊戲等。

兩項發明於今年四月在瑞士舉行的第45屆日內瓦國際發明展上取得多項大獎,包括「便攜式步態分析器」獲運動組別優異金獎、羅馬尼亞創新科技協會特別大獎,而「便攜式身體平衡計」則獲運動組別金獎、羅馬尼亞創新科技協會特別大獎。