The Utility menu allows to manage various PC external devices (one being of course the OptoGait bars).
USB connected devices (at the moment OptoGait bars, Microgate Witty timer and variable speed Woodway treadmill) are automatically recognized and set as "active".
Wireless devices connected to the PC via USB/Bluetooth stick must be searched for, possibly named with a mnemonic name and finally set as active one at a time (see the following paragraph for a concrete example with a heart-rate monitor).
Among the first managed wireless devices there are Polar and ANT+ (Garmin, Suunto, etc.) heart-rate sensors.
When an athlete or a patient wears a heart-rate chest wrap during the test, his heart rate is recorded and associated with the test events (e.g. jump, stride, etc.).
Complete instructions on the use and configuration of heart-rate monitors are available in user manual at chapter 4.4.5.
Witty Timer and Photocells
OptoGait may be used in combination with the wireless timer and photocell kit called Witty.
The photocells have the purpose of giving the external start impulse and to stop the test, as well as recording intermediate times during the sprint/run test with modular systems, if needed.
Let’s look at a concrete example:
Timing a 30-m sprint with start and finish photocells, as well as intermediate times at 10 and 20 m.
Just set up the photocells at the required positions and connect the Witty timer to the PC with the OptoGait software.
The photocells will transmit the impulse, which will then interact with the software.
The test has to be set up as start and stop test = "External impulse" (which is given by the Witty timer when the athlete passes the photocells), with a number of intermediate times equal to the number of intermediate photocells of the system.
Each test will now show the "roll of positions". Displaying the OptoGait bars on the monitor, during the test a dot will indicate the athlete's centroid foot. The first (pink colored) dot shows the initial position, whereas the following will form the athlete's movement scheme during the test making us understand how the movement is controlled. The color of the dot for jumps fades, whereas the current dot is highlighted in white. In a 2D system, the roll of dots will of course trace the movement on X and on Y.
In the following examples we will see two jump tests of 15 seconds, where in the first one the athlete has controlled the position well staying near the initial point, whereas in the second one he has moved around without control. Quoting a famous tagline of the past, always remind your athletes that "power is nothing without control!"
Using 2D bars, the centroid measures (Jumping Point) and the relevant distances (Jumping Point Gap) are given for both X and Y. The comparison of the two previous tests using these measures graphically and numerically highlights the difference of control.
Zoom and Config Buttons on the Bars
Clicking on the "+" icon at the beginning of the displayed bars, the latter can be zoomed. Click on the "-" icon to go back to normal view.
Using the Configure Bars button (useful mainly for run or gait tests) the information to be displayed can be set. Partial and progressive distances between one step and another have been added.
It is now possible to export a single protocol in Excel format. In addition to the classic feature of exporting data of single tests, now (in a second Excel worksheet) also core protocol data (a Drift Test in the example) is exported.
Sprint Test with Hand Support (Three-Point Start)
In some sports, starts with both feet and one hand on the ground are used (hence the name "Three-Point Start"). A famous example is the 40-yard dash widely used in American Football.
Now a particular start can be used for sprint tests allowing for this test type. The athlete enters the area and, as soon as he puts his hand on the ground, the test begins automatically. As soon as he lifts his hand, the start is triggered and timing begins with the first step. By indicating with which foot the athlete pushes (right or left), all parameters will be divided. Click here for further details.
PCI –Phase Coordination Index
In the gait tests, the PCI (Phase Coordination Index) has been added. This index is widely used to check bilateral gait coordination and is based on the concept of Phase (ϕ) within a Gait Cycle (an “ideal” gait has a ϕ = 180° for each step).
The PCI was defined (in a study of 2007 by Plotnik, Giladi, Hausdorff on elderly patients as well as on people with Parkinson’s Disease) as the sum of the Coefficient of Variation (CV) of ϕ and the mean absolute difference between ϕ and 180°.
PCI values are higher (poorer bilateral coordination) in patients with Parkinson’s Diseases in comparison to the healthy adults.
New Protocols Single Leg 3Hops and 4H3C (4 Hops, 3 Contacts) 1D e 2D
Similar to the current "Single-Leg 3 Hops" (3 single-leg forward hops to evaluate the recovery of the anterior cruciate ligament functionality) the "4H3C" (4 Hops, 3 Contacts) protocol has been introduced, which adds another hop. Both the protocols can be carried out with the 2D system, that will give us the lateral shift in terms of cm or angles.
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