For sports enthusiasts, the most common injury would be ankle sprains, which can significantly impact physical activity and quality of life. External passive supports such as tape and braces are used for the prevention and recovery of ankle sprains. However, those traditional solutions can cause problems like weakening the supporting muscles and soft tissue around the joint and making a person reliant on their perpetual use.
The reason why the traditional solutions cause the problems is that injured ankles are less able to deal with disturbances such as uneven terrain without added support and negatively, which alters the natural function of the foot and leg.
A team of researchers from Arizona State University comes up with an idea to overcome the limitations of current treatment methods, they built an active, automated ankle support system.
The Smart User-Effective Data-Enabled, or SUEDE, Shoe is a wearable smart shoe system that actively supports the ankle without hindering natural motion. Being different from traditional methods, SUEDE shoes’ soft brace can adjust the stiffness of the support to assist the user as needed, rather than the less-helpful constant support tapes and traditional braces offer.
Furthermore, the novel system will also provide users with real-time, cumulative injury risk assessment and help them to follow clinical treatment guidelines through an intuitive smartphone-based user interface.
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