A LEYBURN chiropodist is the first in the UK to acquire an artificial intelligence based system for treating his patients.

Developed in China, over the last 10 years Sennogait is a podiatric, postural and gait management system. Now in use by Andrew Waites of Leyburn Foot Clinic, it brings artificial intelligence into the professional world of gait analysis biometrics and orthotics.

Previously when treating patients in order to determine what was not working, practitioners would visually and manually examine and measure the feet legs, hips, feet and ankles. In order to correct it some technology such as the use of foot pressure mats, treadmill video and their own expertise also assisted treatment. Now assessing problems has reached a new level.

Mr Waites qualified as a chiropodist in 1990 and has practiced locally for 14 years. He explained: “Usually my patients complained of pain and discomfort especially the upper body, possibly caused by incorrect gait.

“I was looking for something a bit more technical to help diagnose problems.”

After a world-wide search Mr Waites has now bought this new artificial intelligence based system which has been used extensively in the USA, China, India and Singapore.

Consisting of electronically-monitored foot pads the system gives a digital analysis of a patient’s pressure patterns after walking. Highlighting the extent of the problems, it even suggests the required treatment.

As the first person in the UK to take delivery and put it into practice, Mr Waites believes it will revolutionise treatment. He said: “It’s amazing that a small town like Leyburn should be at the forefront of revolutionary technology in the way orthotics are treated and prescribed.

“It also provides valuable information so we can refer people to a physiotherapist or a GP.”