mHealth pilot project: Remote control of leg prostheses via personal smartphone

21 September 2015

Within a joint pilot project with Ottobock – international manufacturer of high-tech prostheses – we developed a prototypical application, which enables people with leg prostheses to control them via their personal smartphone.

Using specific sensors, the intelligent Genium leg prostheses system records position, acceleration, flexion angle and external forces. A microprocessor as well as software algorithms analyse the situation and regulate real time knee angle and motion damping based on a hydraulic system. This enables users to walk naturally.

Until recently, various additional functions were activated via remote control. Controlling the prosthesis via mobile devices such as smartphones, including a respective app, shall now supplement the existing hardware remote control and increase user’s experience. Using the Genium remote app for Android enables users to connect with their prosthesis via Bluetooth using their personal smartphone and to easily choose one of their pre-defined movement modes.

The choice of different modes (e.g. hiking, running, biking…) means flexibility and independence for users and enables them to live their lives actively. Additionally the app delivers relevant information regarding the present battery level, pedometer and the date for the next service.

After completing the pilot, Ottobock further developed the application. The “Cockpit App”, which is free of charge, is now available for Android users at the Google Play Store.

Thomas Ebner