Global Posture Analysis System, is made up of a number of units and a software that makes possible to acquire images for body part measurements, as well as information concerning weight distribution, barycenter and stability of the patient.
Analysing the posture of a person may represent common language for medical disciplines, because in this case the person is examined in overall terms. This diagnostic process may therefore be added to by this approach, always with a view to better defining a prevention or cure programme, possibly also by means of multi-disciplinary treatment.
One keyword is “Lifestyle” that in today's world is characterised by more sedentary activity, bad habits and a lack of physical exercise,resulting in greater social costs. Observing incorrect postural behaviour may, therefore, provide confirmation and act as an incentive for developing prevention strategies from the early developmental age groups.
The GPS 600 is a posture analysis system that is made up of various hardware units and software known as GPS, that enables the acquisition, management and comparison of images of different body sections, soles and stabilometric data.
More specifically, the basic units that make up the station are: a stabilometric platform, PODATA™, with six load cells and a built-in camera, an analysis device BODY FOOT with 2 distinct cameras, and a posture analysis device TOTAL POSTURE with vertical / horizontal strings for postural reference and a swiveling mirror at the top.
The system as a whole has been certified by an authorised Body as a class I medical device, with a measuring function.
The GPS 600 is therefore a modular station made up of all these elements.
First of all the person is asked to remove their shoes and socks as well as clothing on the upper part of the body to allow the possibility of subsequent back examinations as well.
We therefore advise applying direct markers on the person's body. As shown in the example, some are applied to the shoulders, the C7 cervical vertebra, L5 lumbar vertebra, and the malleolus bone on both feet.
Basically, the posture analysis uses photographic and stabilometric analysis.
Specifically, the images are acquired using two video cameras, one on the front of the desk top at a pre-set height, the other video camera is located inside the PODATA™ device.
Images are therefore acquired at two different times during the examination.
The person is asked to position themselves on the TOTAL POSTURE.
The person must stand with their feet in the positions indicated on the platform. The photo covers the entire body of the person examined, and must also include the mirror at the top. The image reflected in this upper mirror makes it possible to observe whether there is any rotation of the shoulders, and to what extent.
The first position is frontal, with the person looking in the operator's direction. The person is asked to take up a natural position and look straight ahead.
Typically four photos are acquired: front, left side, back, and right side.
The person follows the outline on the platform to position their feet correctly. Another reference point is the centre of the malleolus bone, which must be at right angles and centred in relation to the straight line on the platform for each of the positions indicated.
Correct positioning of the feet on the front / rear and sagittal plane allows photography to be repeated at later stages.
Once initial calibration operations have been completed, angular or linear measurements can be taken for various areas of the body, and directly on individual photograph.
The measurements taken can be saved along with the photograph itself, in the patient's electronic folder for the date of the examination.
The photo may also show virtual vertical and horizontal lines as a reference for the measurements to be taken.
The GPS software can also be used to compare photographs acquired during successive examinations. Specifically, a special function makes it possible to superimpose two photographs for the same person in a specific position. The outlines are identified, and the changes that have occurred in posture are highlighted.
Yet another function makes it possible to reproduce the person's spinal column once at least the two binding points at the C7 cervical vertebra and L5 lumbar vertebra have been fixed on the photograph.
Once acquisition of the photographs of the body has been completed, the person is asked to move to the PODATA™ device to acquire the photo of the soles of their feet and for a stabilometric analysis.
The person must stand upright, with their feet positioned as they please on two glass top plates. The person looks ahead with their arms straight at their sides.
The photo can now be acquired using the built-in camera, and the consequent detection of the type of feet, whether normal, flat or cavus.
This photo is then added to the other photos acquired during the examination on the same day.
Further photographs of areas of the body of interest may be acquired by installing other video cameras suitably fitted to the front of the desktop, for heels for example.
The body weight is distributed to the two feet, and is especially distributed to three points on each foot: the first metatarsal, the fourth metatarsal, and the heel.
According to the "6 rule" of French biomechanical engineer KAPANDJI, when 6 kg is applied to the astragalus, 1 kg is loaded onto the antero-external support, 2 kg on the antero-internal support, and 3 kg on the heel. This means that the heels support half the body weight, that is 17%, 33% and 50% respectively.
At this point the person being examined gets onto the PODATA™ and is asked to stay still in the same conditions as previously, that is, looking ahead, arms straight at the sides, feet each standing on a glass top plate, freely and naturally.
The GPS software positions the six load cells at the pre-set points under each foot. This movement of the load cells guarantees repeatability of the measurements, even at a later stage.
The stabilometric test can be done under various "examination conditions", in looking for afferents that affect the person's postural behaviour. The session can therefore be repeated with the eyes open, eyes closed, looking to the right, looking to the left, teeth clamped, mouth closed, mouth open, head bend back, head tilted to the right, and head tilted to the left. There are 10 examination conditions, and they can also be personalised. Let's choose the EYES OPEN examination conditions, for example.
Once these tasks have been done, you can proceed with examining the person's stability, and start recording.
The results obtained include, first and foremost: 1) Projection of the person's barycentre onto the floor, 2) dynamic recording of that projection during the examination period, 3) the location and dynamics of the barycentre for each foot, 4) the distribution of the load between the right and left feet, and 5) distribution of the load between the 1st metatarsal, 5th metatarsal, and heel.
Further numerical values are measured in relation to the graph of the so-called "ball" and the Fourier analysis. This data is currently being studied by universities to determine the implications and related meaning.
Graphic representation of the feet with the relevant symbols shown above constitutes the result of the observation of a sample of more than 1000 children and 2000 adults during 2011, broken down by gender and age group, all belonging to the Italian population.
The result of the university study therefore led to normality values being defined for each of the parameters presented, as well as an acceptable deviation spectrum, according to statistical distribution in percentiles. Results that were lower than the third percentile or higher than the 97th percentile, were therefore taken as being not normal.
All of these results went into implementing the GPS software, and it is therefore possible to provide an indication for the patient examined, in relation to the norm.
All of this data helps in researching the causes of incorrect postural behaviour and possible dysfunctions. Therapeutic or prevention actions can be defined and the efficacy of the same can be checked at subsequent postural examinations.
Quantitative data can also be exported in an excel file at any time for clinical surveys, university research, and statistical processing.
A report is provided to be given to the person examined.
The software provides for recording personal details for the person, and for carrying out an initial case history. The case history is partly guided by numerous questions with closed answers, and is a fundamental part of the examination.
The user's manual for the GPS software is always available, with online HELP, related to context, with a table of contents tree and search for keywords. This software runs in a Windows environment.