Considering motion analysis for your physical therapy clinic or elite athletic training center?
We are excited you’re considering it and humbled you are here – you are already ahead of the curve!
Here’s our take on the motion capture space. If you’re ready to dig deeper into motion analysis, we’ve prepared a list of 20 or so questions to get you started on evaluating systems and vendors. While not comprehensive, these questions should help you think about key considerations.
I. Who is your system designed for? What is the history of your system?
Some systems were designed with Hollywood studios and biomechanics labs in mind. EuMotus BodyWatch is designed for the clinic and for athletic training centers. This design choice is a key consideration for ease of use and implementing into your clinical and AT operations.
It should be noted that historically mocap systems were designed for high fidelity use cases such as academic biomechanics labs and accordingly were not accessible from both a capital and operational resource perspective for PTs and ATs.
No longer is this the case.
II. What are the strong and weak suits of your human motion analysis system?
In the motion lab example the inherent trade-off is accuracy vs. speed. The high accuracy and data capture rate of traditional motion capture and IMU systems is traded off for speed and ease of use. In the case of markerless motion capture systems such as EuMotus BodyWatch we prioritize speed and usability for the PT clinic.
III. What’s your pricing model? Do you provide one-time sale or subscription basis?
This question will help answer the question of economics. Second, but not less important, is the question of continued support and system upgrades. A subscription model aligns PT and motion analysis vendor incentives. If the PT clinic does not see value in the subscription, they can decide to fire the motion analysis software provider. A one-time purchase of equipment may end up with equipment gathering dust in the clinic corner and tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars down the drain.
IV. What hardware is required? How many cameras? How many markers?
These questions not only bring up the physical footprint of the system, but also the ease of use and ease of setup. A dedicated frame system permanently mounted to the ceiling may be required for some systems. For other systems, markers such as IMUs or electromagnetic markers are required. Motion capture systems with multiple 2D cameras carry a risk of misalignment, and a time-consuming recalibration process. EuMotus BodyWatch requires a single camera and no markers.
As a rule of thumb, more cameras and more markers carry more complexity.
V. Is your system portable? Do clients use your motion analysis system outside of their practice?
This question tests the flexibility of the motion analysis system for your ever-evolving physiotherapy clinic and growing business. The question of portability is also relevant to being able to conduct motion analysis and functional strength workshops in places where you can gain new customers. Some EuMotus customers build inroads to their local youth and amateur sports communities. They use the EuMotus human motion analysis system for differentiated marketing in order to generated demand for their prehab and rehab services.
VI. How long does the setup process take?
This question touches on ease of use, as well as the operational process of performing motion analysis as part of your clinic. As we hinted to above, some multi-camera / multi-marker systems can take a long time (up to an hour) just to prep a subject for motion capture. EuMotus BodyWatch requires minimal setup time per client (less than a minute).
VII. How quickly can motion analysis be conducted on a patient?
This question also probes on operational efficiency. If your practice is extremely individualized and your clientele is coming in for half-day sessions, you have more leeway with regards to this time requirement and operational requirement. However, most practices that we have talked to prefer shorter operational time. EuMotus BodyWatch completes a typical motion analysis run in 3 minutes.
VIII. How accurate is your system?
Tied to the tradeoff of accuracy vs speed, this balance is an important consideration in understanding the limitations of the system. Consider searching for third party papers comparing the motion analysis system to gold standard accuracy motion capture systems such as Vicon. Also, think about what level of accuracy is necessary for your purposes.
IX. What kind of training do you do?
Budgeting time to learn the system is a key part of successfully implementing new technology into your PT clinic. However, a 6 hour or full day-training may imply incredibly very high complexity, and thus lack of ease of use. Ask the vendor the best ways to incorporate the system into your practice.
X. What kind of software updates do you provide? How often do you update? When was your last update?
Usability improvements and new feature updates add value to customers. Figure out if you’re buying a legacy or evolving product. A snapshot of the user interface, or a demo of the system should give you a glimpse of the UI/UX. The difference between mid to late 90s and more recent system UI/UX will quickly become apparent.
XI. How should I think about the value of the system?
Cost is one essential part of this question. Motion analysis system benefits offset this cost. These include:
new, revenue generating movement screening services
bringing exciting and visually appealing motion analysis tech to new places can bring new customers to your clinic
more of the right data more quickly. to verify basic motion capture and motion analysis provides AROM measurement of over 60 body degrees of freedom (e.g. knee flexion, hip flexion, torso rotation etc.). Previously this work was too onerous and time-consuming to perform on every assessment.
exciting and engaging your current clients, helping them buy-in to your process and adhere to their treatment protocols
XII. What does your customer support look like?
Questions will arise and you may have feedback on how to improve the product or add new features. It’s important to understand how support works, with whom you will be speaking, and how responsive they are.
XIII. How do the first two weeks look like? How do I integrate your system into my practice?
With any new process and/or technology it is essential to do things the right way in order to be successful in the long-term. At EuMotus, we’ve found that the first couple of weeks are critical to successfully implementing motion analysis into your practice. Training is a two-day dialogue, where we understand how your PT clinic operates, and accordingly create a tailored ramp-up program to ensure your practice succeeds.
XIV. How do your customers use your system? Do they use it as an assessment tool? As a measuring tool? As an education tool?
This is a good way to figure out how the system is being used in practice. Some of our customers have incroporated EuMotus BodyWatch as one of the first steps of the process for all of their clients. Physical therapists use the system to create a movement health baseline, in order to congratulate healthy movement patterns, and flag movement deficiencies. Now that the baseline has been created, the software powers up the journey to return to function, and/or return to sport.
Many of our customers utilize the system as a patient engagement and patient education tool. The visuals and video playback provide for a powerful conversation starter. EuMotus customers report that their customers are impressed and excited by the technology, and are encouraged by the fact they can actually see their progress through a sometimes painful journey. Patient retention is increased.
Some EuMotus clients elect to charge $30-$50 per movement screen to generate cash for their clinic. Others use our system for physical therapy marketing in order to bring a new stream of customers – e.g. prehab, in addition to the traditional PT clientele of rehab customers. Private practice owners feature the system on their website, social media profiles, as well as at local high schools, and athletic community events.
XV. How much post-processing is involved?
Some systems require post-processing even for the most trivial exercise in measuring active range of motion. (e.g. 2D video playback cellphone apps). In the case of 2D video playback, the assessment is considered qualitative, and it is impractical to conduct a full kinetic chain analysis. Higher fidelity multi-marker multi-marker systems may feature the option of performing more complex biomechanical post-processing. These analyses can take tens of minutes to hours. In some cases, these systems require dedicated, expensive staff in order to conduct an evaluation.
EuMotus BodyWatch does not require post-processing.
XVI. Will anything interfere with the initial system calibration?
Knocking one camera out of alignment can mess up the system calibration in multi-camera systems. Electromagnetic marker systems may be thrown off by the presence of large metal objects in the vicinity of the system. IMUs can shift during mid-exercise, throwing off accuracy of results.
In the case of markerless motion capture systems such as EuMotus BodyWatch, we will walk you through known issues, use case limitations, and show you how to think about system setup. Many of our clients make use of the system’s portability, showcasing their performance and prehab skills at local sports community workshops. Setup time is minimal and most of our client have incorporated EuMotus movement screen stations, which do not require setup in their clinic.
We hope these questions will start your journey into accelerating your practice’s, your staff’s, and your patient’s success, through motion analysis technology. Have more questions or want a demo? Get in touch via the below contact form!