In this MEDICA-tradefair.com interview, Dr. Lina Rahlf talks about "Smart Injury Prevention" and explains how sensors and AI can help prevent running injuries.
Dr. Rahlf, what is the goal of the "Smart Injury Prevention" project?
Dr. Lina Rahlf: The project aims to develop artificial intelligence software for the personalized prediction of running injuries using innovative applications of machine learning.
Running is one of Germany's most popular sports, although it comes with a great risk of injury. There are many causes for these injuries. However, running biomechanics are increasingly a topic of conversation in this setting. By attaching inertial sensors to the body, our goal is to assess specific biomechanical factors related to the running action using machine learning algorithms. Using inertial sensor technology to measure running biomechanics is a common method and has proven beneficial in previous research. By applying artificial intelligence to analyze the data, we expect to achieve innovative and successful software.
The process works like this: The inertial sensor attaches to the runner's waist with a waistband and continuously measures biomechanical running parameters such as stride frequency or ground contact times and detects the athlete’s personal running pattern. Thanks to artificial intelligence software we can identify deviations in the running pattern. Another goal is to use a large amount of data on individual running patterns and additional injury data to create a risk assessment that facilitates injury prevention.
What causes these deviations?
Rahlf: Deviations in running patterns can have different causes. For example, it might be due to runner's fatigue, which may increase injury risk. We know that overuse injuries are far more common than traumatic injuries in the running world. An injury that has not yet fully healed can also prompt deviations in the running pattern.