Founded in 2004 by Dr. Reed Ferber, the Running Injury Clinic (RIC) has long-held the goal of developing cost-effective scientific gait analysis tools in order to improve healthcare. Typical university gait analysis labs are considered the gold-standard for gait analysis but the equipment costs upwards of $150,000 and these labs are not available to the public for injury assessment or treatment. However, through world-class research and development (R&D), Dr. Ferber and the RIC team installed the first 3D GAIT system in 2010 – the world’s first commercially-available 3-dimensional (3D) gait analysis system for use in a clinical setting. Today, 57 different physiotherapy and sports medicine clinics, along with 15 universities from around the world use 3D GAIT and 10-14 new clinic partners are added each year to this growing worldwide network.
Understanding the power of the sheer volumes of data produced by 3D GAIT, RIC also developed its research database, FeBE (Fetch By Email) and in 2011 she became a vital part of the R&D success and scientific advances. All biomechanical, clinical, and demographic data from each clinic and university partner flow into FeBE and as of late-2016, we now have data from over 4000 runners and walkers.
The most notable, and significant recognition of this unique research-clinical-educational paradigm is that in 2014, Dr. Ferber received the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Accelerator Award. From a pool of all NSERC Discovery Grant applicants (2500+), this Award is given once a year to the top 125 scientists, for work that is “highly original and innovative” and has the potential for “ground breaking advances in their field of study.”
In late 2013 Dr. Ferber tasked his team with identifying a cost-effective 3D camera system and when the RIC team saw the Microsoft Kinect 2.0 camera they looked no further. RIC immediately applied to, and was accepted as one of only a few hundred members in the Kinect for Windows developer program, which accelerated the R&D needed to create run3 (run-cubed). In early-2016, the RIC team received runner-up for the run3 system in the TEC Edmonton DynaLIFE Dx Health Award given to the top health-technology companies in Alberta.
The RIC team will go-to-market with the run3 gait analysis system in late-2016 and it will become a significant step forward in scientific 3D gait analysis. Combined with moving FeBE into a cloud-computing platform, the RIC team is excited at the significant potential the run3 system and research database offers as a scientific 3D gait analysis tool to improve healthcare.