Happy National STEM Day!Clinical Expertise
Nov 8, 2022
Happy National STEM Day! Today we celebrate Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. In honor of these scientific fields that push society forward, we are spotlighting the Brooks Motion Analysis Center (MAC). The MAC is a specialized assessment center that is based on STEM…the MAC applies science, engineering, human anatomy and physiology with use of technology and mathematics to advance research and improve patient outcomes.
The MAC has a diverse team of engineers, physical therapists, research scientists and public health professionals. They use motion capture technology that includes specialized cameras to record three-dimensional movements such as walking and jumping. As the 3-D movements are captured, muscle activity is recorded using specialized wireless electromyography sensors. Customized software and computer codes are used to create 3-D models of an individual’s movements and muscle activity. Physical therapists and biomechanical engineers use the models and data to provide individualized recommendations to guide patient care. Motion capture data is also used to answer research questions and to advance the field of rehabilitation science.
A primary mission of the Brooks MAC is also to give back to the community. The MAC applies its specialized programs to help University of North Florida (UNF) athletes prevent injuries and excel. Physical therapists with sports expertise work with UNF athletic trainers to help the athletes achieve top performance.
The Brooks MAC also hosts National Biomechanics Day events. Since 2017, they have involved over 200 Duval County high school students and provided education on how state-of-the-art biomechanical assessments using motion capture can improve rehabilitation. The MAC also hosted children six to 14 years old to participate in motion analysis assessments. These young children learned about the unique technology and the data that was collected will contribute to programs for children with disabilities.
Finally, the MAC gives to the community through education and internship programs for students training in exercise physiology, physical and occupational therapy, public health and engineering. The Brooks MAC is a one-of-a-kind center dedicated to using STEM to advance patient care and rehabilitation.