May 3, 2018

The physical therapy department at OSMC recently unveiled its latest piece of equipment: a state-of-the-art marker-less motion capture system called DARI. The system uses eight high-speed cameras and a computer-vision engine to map and analyze a patient’s biomechanics as the patient goes through a progression of movements. OSMC physical therapists can use this data to identify and correct deficiencies in movements, and to objectively measure a patient’s progress over time.

“Many of us have seen similar tools used for video game production and sports performance analysis, where the individuals have little markers attached to their bodies and they go through motions that are mapped by cameras,” said Chad Joyce, manager of the physical therapy department at OSMC. “This is a similar concept, but it does it without markers attached to your body.  DARI also has a much more complex software system as well as multiple cameras allowing for an in-depth and personalized analysis of your body’s mechanical systems.”

Joyce said OSMC is already utilizing DARI in patient evaluations and athlete evaluations to aide in creating an individualized treatment plan or training program.  The DARI exam is chosen specifically for the patient, athlete or employee being assessed. When an individual completes a DARI exam, the person will go through a series of physical motions within their personal limitations, guided by their physical therapy team. Upon completion of the DARI exam, the computer prepares a report analyzing the patient’s motion and identifying potential areas for improvement.  This report is a tool that your physical therapy team will use to create your personalized plan of care or exercise program.

“The system is designed to highlight the most deficient areas in each person,” said Joyce.  “Because our bodies are one connected system, the DARI allows us to very efficiently ascertain physical deficits and opportunities for an individual that may have otherwise taken a few weeks to establish.”  Each patient that undergoes the DARI protocol receives a printed breakdown of their results. The OSMC therapy team will also review the clinical interpretation with the individual to discuss opportunities and next steps.

Joyce stated, “The DARI system allows us to customize our tests and metrics.  We can custom design testing protocols to optimally measure and obtain meaningful data from a rehabilitation perspective.  This applies to our wellness/screening model, as well.  We would design a different protocol for a basketball player vs. a baseball player.  Working as a team with athletic trainers, coaches and strength personnel, we can design screening tools that are particularly meaningful to them, as well.

“I’ve had several patients who have had rotator cuff procedures completed. A DARI analysis was completed on them at approximately 12 to 14 weeks post-op,” Joyce said. "The DARI outcomes aide the therapy team in identifying deficiencies in the shoulder that we needed to continue to work on.  What is really cool about the DARI analysis is that it also can identify other physical areas like core weakness and low hip mobility. This allows us to incorporate a more comprehensive package of exercises in their final home program, benefitting our patients greatly.”

The DARI system has dozens of potential applications. One area that Joyce said the physical therapy department looks forward to exploring is in athletics and employers. Members of a team going through DARI analyses can help coaches and trainers develop more focused regimens for their teams and their individual athletes aiding in prevention of injuries. Additionally, if an athlete or an employee is injured after going through a DARI analysis, that data can be used as a baseline during recovery.  Joyce said, “One great attribute of the DARI that athletic departments and employers love is the baseline upon hire or at the start of any season, but DARI is also a great tool to develop a safe plan relative to ‘Back to Play / Back to Work’.”

DARI is a relatively new technology, but it is quickly gaining popularity amongst healthcare providers, companies investing in employee wellness, and major sports organizations, including the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL and the University of Notre Dame athletic department. OSMC is the only provider in the area with a DARI system.

If you’re interested in learning more about the DARI system, or would like to set up a consultation with one of our doctors or therapists, please click here.