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2019

Gait Trainer Harness

Enabling Engineering

The Need

Gait Harnesses are used in the physical therapy treatment of patients who have limited walking capabilities. They are designed to bear the weight of patients of all ages and sizes so that the patient can comfortably practice using their legs. However, while gait harnesses are effective in supporting the patient’s weight, the harnesses themselves are a major source of patient discomfort, particularly around the groin and underarm region.  Therefore, there’s a defined need in creating a gait harness that is not only adaptable to patient’s ages and body sizes but is also comfortable to facilitate the gait training procedure for patients.

The Solution

Our solution involves taking the weight off from the groin area by having several contact points elsewhere. By having several connections from the patient to the harness system, their discomfort is minimized and dispersed. The harness consists of a vest and thigh straps which are worn over the patient’s clothes. The vest will attach to a frame which is sturdy enough to bear the patient’s weight. The thigh straps will also connect to the vest and serve as the extra contact points to reduce the load on the vest. The vest is lined with a highly frictional coating on the interior to assist in bearing the weight of the patient and to prevent the vest from sliding up the patient.

Additional Information/Press

https://news.northeastern.edu/2019/04/24/northeastern-students-design-and-build-devices-to-help-improve-the-lives-of-individuals-with-disabilities/