An Investigation of 3D Simulation and Electronic Medical Records for Gait Data

  • Salsabeel Fayiz Mohammad Alfalah

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Quality improvement in healthcare is impacted by the delivery of accurate information in a timely manner, the latter depending on the data storage and visualisation techniques utilised. Efficient clinical decisions require the right information at the right time in the right format, however, health professionals are faced with poorly organised data or inaccessible file formats. Utilising current and emerging technologies will improve outcomes by health professionals and minimise the effort associated with medical data storage and retrieval.

The emergence of electronic medical records (EMR) offers significant opportunities to advance patients data management, accessibility, sharing and visualisation. The ability to allow authorised health professionals to access targeted patient’s information, coupled with the technology to open related files via the internet, can reduce research timeline, thus improving communication among health professionals. Furthermore, having a user interface to present an electronic multimedia record can increase clinician productivity, support medical decision making and improve quality of care. Electronic medical records demonstrate advantages such as: ameliorated reporting, operational performance, enhanced communication, data accuracy and aptitude for future research. However, clinicians require time to utilise the system because of the challenges associated with behaviour modification.

There are associated matters regarding medical data storage and visualisation in current methods used for gait analysis. Gait analysis is the method used to assess the way movement is manifested directly whilst treating patients, or indirectly in medical diagnosis and development of future treatment improvements as in gait analysis research. The related issues were overcome by the development of a web based interactive visualisation system, furthermore a prototype virtual reality application has been developed as a diagnostic tool to aid visualisation of gait analysis and improve accessibility for health professionals who lack the technical experience to operate motion capture systems. The proposed system visualises motion capture human locomotion data stored in the C3D (coordinated 3 dimensional) file form at offering a real-time three dimensional (3D) data visualisation that could be manipulated through an intuitive, user-friendly interface. As such the prototype system assists health professionals to investigate the derived data by reducing the typical diagnostic triage time, whilst offering improved accessibility through the web application. Notably subject to equipment capability the system can offer the real-time 3D visualisation in full stereoscopic 3D, enabling the users to interact freely with the data in a Virtual Reality (VR) environment.

This Thesis presents the research undertaken that underpins the development of a healthcare management system with the use of multimodal interaction and 3D simulation. The research has contributed to the new technique to visualise motion capture data with regard to the possibilities and limitations of available resources and health professionals ’ requirements. Furthermore, the EMR in conjunction with the motion captured data in Virtual Environment (VE) enhanced medical data visualisation, storage, accessibility, unconstrained multiple points of view, interaction in 3D, and control o f the patient's data. Research described in this Thesis involved: (i) literature reviews in information technologies in healthcare and related fields, such as human computer interaction, interactive 3D multimedia technologies, virtual reality in healthcare, electronic medical record, and gait analysis methods and applications, and (ii) conducting gait analysis process field studies and observations. The development process, results and conclusions are discussed throughout the Thesis.
Date of Award2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
SupervisorDavid Harrison (Supervisor), Vassilis Charissis (Supervisor) & Mary Maclachlan (Supervisor)

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