Global Mobility Engineer Visits Gait Lab in Mumbai
Molly Erickson offers in-person training and technical support to Xavier Institute of Engineering
Now well into its ninth year, the Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Engineering Center’s Global Mobility outreach clinics have continued to help change lives around the world. Specializing in orthopaedic and rehabilitation engineering, OREC’s Global Outreach clinics seek to support better care through technology, providing clinical and educational support for healthcare providers and researchers working with vulnerable populations in underserved communities. While OREC’s ultimate goal is to support Global Mobility labs in becoming self-sufficient, the collaborative nature of these endeavors is critical to the integration of knowledge and technology required to build and support each location. OREC’s newest clinic, located in Mumbai, India, was visited this March (2023) by OREC Research Engineer, Molly Erickson, who worked directly with researchers at the Xavier Institute of Engineering.
For Ms. Erickson, traveling to India was a significant and personal journey. The already-successful Mumbai outreach clinic had been launched by Drs. Gerald Harris and Jacob Rammer in Winter, 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it had operated and remained engaged only remotely since that time.
During her visit, Ms. Erickson worked to ensure that the Xavier Gait Lab was equipped with the technology required to support the size and scope of the population it serves. For example, the lab uses 3-D motion-capture technology to define intricacies of a child’s walk. Electrodes and reflective markers placed on a child’s limbs during ambulation measure muscle activity and track motion of body segments. This data, along with a physical examination, helps the clinical/surgical team in Mumbai identify specific ways to help improve a child’s ability to walk, step, and run.
With the significant upgrades to the lab’s data collection abilities, as well as the professional guidance and knowledge that Ms. Erickson was able to provide, Xavier is now well-positioned to continue offering the best possible care to the children of Mumbai. The Xavier Lab expressed their deep gratitude in a letter of appreciation:
We would like to formally and sincerely express our gratitude for the amazing work we accomplished during your visit to gait lab […]. We want you to know that we value the amount of effort you have put into your work. You are significantly appreciated by the Xavier Institute of Engineering and Gait.”
This letter was addressed to Ms. Erickson and signed by both the principal and director of the Xavier Institute of Technology. After providing on-line virtual support to the lab for over two years during COVID, Molly was finally able to visit the lab personally, where she provided additional hands-on support after receiving a very warm welcome.
Upon returning from her trip to Mumbai, Molly noted:
Working with the Xavier Institute of Engineering Gait Laboratory team and visiting the lab was on honor. Our team’s goal is always to help the labs produce the highest quality clinical gait data to better inform surgical decisions and provide an increased level of care. Having the opportunity to visit the lab in person and work with the staff allowed me to gain a better understanding of the team’s goals and provide improved support. Additionally, the team’s warmth and hospitality allowed me to gain a greater understanding of Mumbai culture.
Rooted in their commonly held Jesuit missions, the Xavier Institute of Engineering and Marquette University share an interest in working to serve vulnerable populations, particularly those in underserved communities. Located in the most populous city in the world, and with the assistance of Molly Erickson and the team at the Marquette University and Medical College of Wisconsin Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Engineering Center, the Xavier Institute of Engineering is now fully equipped to offer highly effective motion assessment and individualized treatment planning for children and young adults suffering from gait abnormalities, regardless of income or ability.
Learn more about OREC's Motion Analysis Laboratories