Wearable inertial sensors as a tool for quantitative assessment of progress during rehabilitation

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Tedesco, Salvatore
Urru, Andrea
Peckitt, James
O'Flynn, Brendan
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Biomechanics analysis is frequently used in both clinical and sporting practice in order to assess human motion and performance of defined tasks. Whilst camera-based motion systems have long been regarded as the ‘Goldstandard’ for quantitative movement-based analysis, their application is not without limitations as regards potential sources of variability in measurements, high costs, and practicality of use for larger patient/subject groups. Another more practical approach, which presents itself as a viable solution to biomechanical motion capture and monitoring in sporting and patient groups, is through the use of small-size low-cost wearable Micro-ElectroMechanical Systems (MEMs)- based inertial sensors. The clinical aim of the present work is to evaluate gait during rehabilitation following knee injuries and to identify gait abnormalities through a wireless inertial sensing system. This system was developed at the Tyndall National Institute to meet clinician-defined needs, and is able to provide a complete biomechanics assessment without the constraints of a motion capture laboratory. The derived motion parameter outcomes can be analyzed by clinicians and sport scientists to study the overall patients’ condition and provide accurate medical feedback as to their rehabilitative progress. Detection of atypical movement characteristics is possible by comparing the performance and variability in motion characteristics in the patient’s affected and unaffected lower-limbs. The work is ongoing, and to date the system has been tested on only one impaired subject, additional clinical trials are currently being planned with an enhanced number of injured subjects. This will provide a more robust statistical analysis of the data in the study. The present feasibility study proved that inertial sensors can be used for a quantitative assessment of knee joint mobility, and gait mechanics during the rehabilitation program of injured subjects and can provide valuable information to clinical experts as regards patient rehabilitation.
Inertial Sensors , Wearable Microsystems , Rehabilitation.
Tedesco, S., Urru, A., Peckitt, J. and O'Flynn, B. (2016) 'Wearable Inertial Sensors as a Tool for Quantitative Assessment of Progress during Rehabilitation', Global Health 2016: The Fifth International Conference on Global Health Challenges, Venice, Italy, 9 - 13 October. isbn: 978-1-61208-511-1
Copyright © IARIA, 2016.