In our group, we are interested in how human movement affects musculoskeletal health, and how artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science can help us understand these relationships. Our interests include diseases such as knee osteoarthritis and injuries that can occur through participating in sports or exercise.
To understand how movement affects musculoskeletal health, we ideally would need to account for all the individual factors that can affect movement (such as age, body size, prior injuries, current symptoms, mood, and sleep, among others) and look at the multi-dimensional and time-varying patterns of movement that the body experiences in everyday life. This requires a lot of data and special tools to help make sense of all this information.
Our study participants are one of our key resources in gathering the information we need to explore these relationships. We are working with community partners to build large datasets of biomechanics, physical activity, clinical, and demographic data. We utilize several different tools to capture movement during specific activities (e.g., walking, running, standing up from a chair, stair climbing, stair descent) as well as patterns of physical activity during daily life, including markered and markerless motion capture, force platforms, wearable sensors (e.g., accelerometers, smart watches), and more. Computational resources, such as UF’s HiPerGator-ResVault, and data analysis approaches such as machine learning, help us identify patterns among these different sources of information that are related to musculoskeletal health outcomes, while also keeping data secure.
The end goal of our research is to help inform patient-specific interventions – such as a knee brace, a special insole, physical therapy, and/or changes in the type, pacing, or intensity of physical activity – that help an individual achieve and maintain optimal musculoskeletal health. Through AIBL, we hope to empower people to remain active, healthy, and ABLE to participate in the activities they want to do in their lives.
Beneath the skin, gears grind and hum
Muscles and bones, a symphony come
A dance of forces, a biomechanical dream
A machine that moves, with precision supreme
The joints they hinge, the tendons they pull
A symphony of movement, a dance that is full
The body in motion, a work of art
A machine designed to play its part
From the smallest joint, to the largest limb
A biomechanical wonder, a machine within
A symphony of motion, a marvel to behold
The human body, a story yet untold
So let us marvel, at this work of art
The biomechanics of human movement, a perfect start
To understanding, the complexities of life
A machine that moves, with beauty and strife.