Initial Thoughts & End Results of XSENSOR’s Intelligent Insoles

Through a series of five articles (How Two Decades of Out-Of-Shoe Pressure Analysis Led Me to XSENSOR Technology), industry-leading podiatrist Tim Bransdon will explore and provide insights into what led him to XSENSOR Technology’s Intelligent Insoles, and how the in-shoe analysis is influencing his assessment and treatment strategies for patients, and what XSENSOR means to his podiatry clinic (Wollongong Podiatry) and running programs (The Running Lab). Follow along to learn and understand more about Tim’s experience and process implementing and using the Intelligent Insoles on The XSENSOR Blog.

Read Part 1 and Part 2 to catch up on Tim's adventure.

Read Our Research Article: Validity & Reliability of the XSENSOR In-Shoe  Pressure Measurement System

How Two Decades of Out-Of-Shoe Pressure Analysis Led Me to XSENSOR Technology (Part 3): Initial Thoughts & End Results of XSENSOR’s Intelligent Insoles

As soon as I received my XSENSOR Intelligent Insoles | Pro system I opened it up and placed the insoles and SPKs (Sensor Packs) into my shoes. I powered them on and immediately began testing. As is usually the case with new equipment or products I acquire, I begin by testing on myself. In this instance, I started by going for a walk with the insoles. Then a run on the road… then off-road. I lifted weights, focusing on deadlifts and squats. I recorded data for squatting in flat minimalist shoes and Olympic weight-lifting shoes.

One hour after opening the Intelligent Insoles system I had multiple data sets captured. The squat and deadlift recordings were captured using Bluetooth, with the data instantly available for analysis with the Pro Foot & Gait software. The walking and running data was saved directly to the SPK. While this data can be transferred to a computer via Bluetooth after data collection, longer sessions transfer much faster by connecting the provided USB cable from the SPK to a computer.

This initial experience testing and recording data with the Intelligent Insoles was seamless. The interaction between the hardware and software was glitch free and user friendly.

The next step in my process was to analyse the data collected and decipher what was meaningful to me both professionally as a podiatrist, and personally as someone looking to improve their own movement efficiency.

The Pro Foot & Gait software is capable of measuring and comparing a vast combination of metrics. With some assistance from the XSENSOR team, and a well assembled and well written user manual in the software itself, I was able to navigate the varied data metrics and analyse my walking, running, and lifting.

XSENSOR's Pro Foot & Gait software showing a person's plantar pressure profile.The next step using the system was to ensure effective data collection from my patients, without having to change the length of my appointments. Given the quick and easy set-up and testing I had performed on myself, I felt confident I could perform client analysis using the Intelligent Insoles effectively.

I used the insoles as often as I could, focusing on walking gait. The hardware and software continued to integrate seamlessly. My goal at this stage was not to reinvent how I was treating my patients. I was looking to record data often so I could become proficient with the software, and further understanding what metrics were most relevant for me to compare with analysis pre- and post-intervention.

The response I received from patients in these initial appointments was positive. Immediately after recording, I was able to show the pressure distribution in each foot, and demonstrate the differences between their left and right feet. I used the Cyclogram and Centre of Pressure trails to outline asymmetries between their feet. The graphical and visual nature of these clear and easy to interpret pressure maps made it easy for my patients to understand.

Having successfully navigated my goal of efficient recording with these insoles, I started to consider how to make repeat analysis on patients as relevant as possible. The key variable in this process is shoes.

For short- and medium-term treatment interventions, I need to ensure the same shoes are worn for each recording in order to properly compare pre- and post-analyses. This will also be the case when assessing the influence of orthotics on feet. This will be easy to do as long as I communicate to the patient the need to wear, or bring, the same pair of shoes to each appointment.

XSENSOR's Intelligent Insoles.However, if my goal is to assess the interaction between feet and the ground, I need to reduce the influence that footwear (and orthotics) have on gait and foot function. My solution for this will be to use standardised shoes, which provide minimal interference or influence on foot function in gait. The shoes will need to be thin-soled and made of a firm rubber compound. The shoes will need to be foot shaped, which means broad, not tapered, through to the toes.

Using standardised shoes will also be beneficial for long term data collection and analysis. It is common for patients to return for assessment and treatment years after I last consulted with them. In these circumstances, an assessment in standardised shoes will produce more accurate data to compare than assessment in potentially vastly different shoes.

Moving forward, I can already foresee XSENSOR’s Intelligent Insoles being an irreplaceable piece of my foot and ankle treatment methodology. This grows with every analysis performed, especially as I am now performing as many post intervention analyses as initial baseline assessments.

Stay tuned for Part 4 in the series coming soon.


About the Author, Tim Bransdon:

Tim Bransdon is a podiatrist based in Wollongong, Australia. He is an industry leader in the field of strength and conditioning for feet, as well as running mechanics and has two decades of experience using force plate pressure analysis for walking gait, testing strength, and power output. Tim is excited to share his experience in adding a new frontier to his podiatry practice and running work with XSENSOR Technology’s Intelligent Insoles.

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