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Toe-Tapping Test for Parkinson's Patients

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The test results show the toe-tapping exercises correlate closely with a person’s risk of falling, although it is slightly less accurate than traditional walking tests.

Credit: Rui Hua

Texas A&M University's Ya Wang and colleagues devised a smart insole that can evaluate a Parkinson's disease patient's risk of falling by tracking their foot movements as they tap their toes.

The researchers had 10 Parkinson's patients and eight healthy controls perform a toe-tapping exercise while wearing the insole, which features accelerometers, a microcontroller, and a Bluetooth Low Energy module.

The device recorded and transferred data on foot motion to a computer in real time.

The researchers found the exercises strongly correlate with falling risk based on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, although with slightly less accuracy than conventional walking tests.

From IEEE Spectrum
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