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The Making of MGM Center for Human Movement Science

Posted on March 29, 2015

We are pleased to share that the intense, concerted effort on the project initiated in August 2012 to establish a center for human movement science at MGM Institute of Health Sciences (MGMIHS) was successfully completed in February 2015. To address an urgent need to integrate clinical biomechanics in health care, I proposed a project to the International Society of Biomechanics to establish a center for movement analysis through the EDC initiative.

After initial positive encouragement from Prof.Julie Steele (ISB President 2009-2011) in Aug ust 2012 at ESM, Aalborg, Denmark, I began communication with Dr.AndreaHemmerich, a highly enthusiastic, supportive and focused EDC Officer to identify the objectives and outcome of such a center. Continued Skype discussions over a year between Andrea and me chipped in the draft of the MoU which was presented to the ISB Executive Council Members at the XXIV ISB Congress, Natal, Brazil in August 2013 in partnership with Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IITB) and Cardiff University, UK. Many thanks for the ISB travel grant and support from MGMIHS that I managed to travel to Natal for the presentation and discussion.

Andrea together with other participants, including Prof. Ton van den Bogert, had convened a workshop to discuss the challenges economically developing countries faced to establish infrastructure for research and training in Biomechanics. It was very helpful to listen to experiences and evaluate our proposal.

Andrea and I then met with Prof. Ton van den Bogert (ISB President at the time) and Prof. Bart Koopman (ISB Developing Countries Officer) to discuss the proposal to assess its feasibility, viability and relevance in India. At that point we discussed that we had local support from Prof.B.Ravi, IITB, and support from Cardiff University through Prof. Robert van Deursen. We also discussed how we were trying to seek support from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, for this initiative and also to build awareness about this science and its application in health care to address culturally specific needs of Indian lifestyle. The team was convinced and it was decided to seek support from sponsors of ISB to move forward. Ton discussed with Mr. Gary Blanchard (AMTI) and Mr. Andy Ray (Vicon) and they kindly agreed in principle and we took another step forward. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2013 between primary collaborating partners to structure and foster teamwork.

Untiring efforts from Andrea and the EDC team we were finally offered a huge generous donation from Vicon and AMTI: an 8-camera Vicon system and 2 force plates. In the meanwhile in May 2014, Robert van Deursen was sponsored by ISB to visit the site in Mumbai and help in the ground work planning for installation.

At this point Ms. Adele Burdock and Mr. François Asseman appeared on the scene and the planning for the shipment began. The actual shipment and the paper work for custom clearance was a highly complex and arduous task accomplished by Adele and François. We are ever so grateful to both of them for their perseverance.

Finally we received the equipment on Wednesday evening i.e. 11th of February. Robert had arrived for his second visit on 8th February and we were setting the site for installation - right from shopping for the clamps to the camera to getting the pipes and cable trays fitted for the cameras. Robert has done a commendable job working approx. long (10 hours on two days) hours in an environment which was full of dust and paint smell. On 9th and 10th February the pit was prepared to install the force plates and the metal pipes were fixed around the walls to mount the cameras under the guidance of Robert and Mr. Rupesh Pagdhare.

On Wednesday11th February, after we received the goods, Rupesh installed the force plates till 2.15am on Thursday i.e.12th Feb. I must deeply acknowledge the ongoing support and hard work from Mr.Vivek Nadkarni, Mrs.Tanuja Nadkarni and Rupesh (Indian team for Vicon and AMTI support) during the process of installation which continues. The installation was finally completed on Saturday afternoon i.e. 14th of February!!! We were all set to collect the data but, unfortunately, we could not achieve that because of inappropriate flooring.

But since then the system was tested and it all works well! Robert returned to Cardiff on Sunday with a sore throat after a week of hard work and we are extremely grateful to him for his efforts. We are also grateful to Robert for planning his academic and research activities at Cardiff University to allow time for two visits to the lab to help in the lab design, installation, training course and project discussion.

Mr. Nadkarni's team fine tuned the set up and we collected data on Thursday 19thFebruary 2015!!!. Analysis of data and generation of report has some hiccups which are being sorted with help from Mr. Jacques Gay (Vicon) and Rupesh. Another important activity we have been discussing with Robert during his visits in May 2014 and February 2015 is designing the training course in clinical biomechanics. Initial discussions were held with engineering board of MGM Trust and IITB on issues such as need, intake, duration and eligibility for the training course with an objective of generating a task force within the country for undertaking research and developing this science further in India. Further discussion was held with Robert and Andrea via Skype in May to agree upon the need and feasibility of such a program.

Now along with my colleague, Jyoti Chatla, we have collected data with whole body marker system for Yoga postures, squatting and dance postures. Analysis of these 3 postures form three different research projects and respective teams involving Prof.Ravi, Dr.Tandaiya and rest of the IITB group, Robert and Andrea are already identified. It is promising to have multidisciplinary teams of enthusiastic physiotherapists and mechanical engineers eager to work together at the center. After ironing the creases in data collection and fine tuning the system the projects should take off and then a lot of scientific knowledge will unfold through various projects which are at a stage of concept design. Prof.Nordin visited the center last week and commented it could be a facility for students from other countries to work on their projects. The center is open for enthusiastic researchers to work...

We are extremely grateful to ISB for helping us make this start with generous support from VICON and AMTI. Without support from ISB, MGMIHS would not have realized this dream to begin work in this area.

 

Dr. Rajani Mullerpatan
Prof-Director
MGM Center for Human Movement Science
MGM Institute of Health Sciences
Navi Mumbai, India

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