Running Shoe Implants that Prevent Injuries

2014-tcs-new-york-city-marathonThe number of runners in Europe is over 80 million, which is roughly 36 percent of the European population for 15 – 65-year-olds.

With those kinds of numbers, the European Commission has a vested interest in educating and protecting its population of runners. As a result, it launched and funded the RunSafer Project, a consortium of European researchers that caters to the interests of runners.

Injuries are a fact of life for runners. In fact, 38 percent of European runners have suffered a running injury, according to the commission’s statistics.

RunSafer system is geared towards all European runners, but will particularly address the needs of those that have suffered running injuries, which includes over 37 million runners.

One funded project with El Institute of Biomechanics of Valencia (IBV) and the Spanish shoe company KELME has resulted in a prototype running shoe with an integrated device that helps runners improve training and prevent injuries, reports Science Daily.

The microelectronic device can gather biomechanical data and wirelessly transmit it to a runner’s mobile phone.

A mobile phone app then provides feedback on performance and suggested changes in running patterns. It also notifies the runner if a high risk of injury warrants a hault in running.

In addition, the mobile app serves as a heart rate monitor and GPS system.

Runners can transfer the generated data to a web portal which generates personalized training plans, recommendations for increased performance and injury prevention, nutrition guidelines and workouts including warm-up and cooling-down specifics.

While other running management systems exist, what is unique about this new system is that it is the first device to collect data on running technique, biomechanical variables, fatigue, heart measurements and running strategy and also provide real-time feedback, according to Science Daily.

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