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Pressure plate systems: Which one?

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by adelemurphy, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. adelemurphy

    adelemurphy Welcome New Poster

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    I am new addition, who has found this site very helpful.

    I run a Podiatry clinic in the north west of England, and am looking at purchasing a pressure system to add to our gait lab.

    The reasons being:

    Another diagnostic tool has to be handy, right?

    We already use video analysis, and we hope that a pressure plate system will also increase patient understanding of diagnosis and treatment given, by presenting the information in a visual form.

    It will help with my research for my MA.

    We have narrowed it down to two possibilities, RSScan, and FootworkPro.

    We will be purchasing a 50cm (approx) plate. Then, if finances allow and if it is necessary we will upgrade in the future.

    Has anyone any experience with either?

    Then one thing that troubles me about RSScan is the PSL (pressure sensitive layer) that needs to be recalibrated every so often (12-24 months dependent on use) at a cost of £300 (ish). Whereas, the FootworkPro never needs that intervention.

    I think there are guys and gals from mar-systems on here (and they have been a good source of information), but I am after independent opinions from users who have used either of both plates.

    We will be manufacturing orthotics on site, so all I need is a comparison between the plates themselves and the software in terms of capture and analysis.

    Thanks in advance for any help.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2009
  2. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I would be less trusting of a system that does not need any sort of calibration. I not familar with the Footwork system - how do they calibrate? Do they calibrate to body weight at the start of each testing session?

    The issue I have with plates, is that you get pretty pictures and curves which can be helpful in the determination of diagnosis, pathomechanics and deriving prescription variables, BUT, as they not in-shoe systems, you can't see if you actually changed those pretty pictures and curves in the right direction with foot orthoses.
  3. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  4. PodAus

    PodAus Active Member

    Hi Adele,

    Following sound clinical theory development and the subsequent debates (here on Arena), will help you and the patient much more than wizz-bang.

    Just adhere to sound medical advice; don't follow the path of using 'technology' for the sake of technology, and expect to get 'better results'.


    Paul Dowie :morning:
  5. adelemurphy

    adelemurphy Welcome New Poster

    Thanks for the reply Craig.

    I quote an email from mar-systems:

    They say as the FootworkPro uses capacitive sensors, and not resistors like the RSscan, it is laboratory calibrated when built, and never needs intervention.

    Marketing hype?

    I will ask about how they calibrate before each test. Good question.

    Other advantages are that it measures pressure in bar, and does not need an algorithm to convert resistance (?) to pressure.

    That is a good point. However, by its very nature an in-shoe system cannot give any barefoot (BF) analysis. Whereas, a pressure plate can provide BF and shod (SH) data.

    By gathering BF data we can reinforce (or make us rethink) our naked eye opinions of underlying causes before exploring what the shoe does to the foot. Although the in-shoe system provides a clearer pretty picture of what the shoe is doing to the foot, SH analysis via a pressure plate is surely not without its merits?

    There is also the argument that in-shoe systems affect gait, here

    I am undecided.

    Granted the ideal situation would be to have both systems when conducting biomechanical assessments, but the practicality of our bank balance will not allow this.

    There is also the ongoing and ever increasing cost associated with in-shoe systems to consider.

    My quest continues.

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