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3D gait assessment in young and elderly subjects using foot-worn inertial sensors

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Author: Mariani, B. · Hoskovec, C. · Rochat, S. · Büla, C. · Penders, J. · Aminian, K.
Institution: Laboratory of Movement Analysis and Measurements, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, -STI-IBI2-LMAM, Station 11/ELH 137, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland Service of Geriatric Medicine, CHUV and CUTR Sylvana, Epalinges, Switzerland Holst Centre/IMEC, High Tech Campus 31, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Source:Journal of Biomechanics, 15, 43, 2999-3006
Identifier: 461538
doi: doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2010.07.003
Keywords: Electronics · 3D gait analysis · Elderly · Foot clearance · Inertial sensors · Turning · 3D gait analysis · Accuracy and precision · Clinical application · Elderly · Foot clearance · Gait cycles · Gait initiation · Gait parameters · Inertial sensor · Mean ages · Objective evaluation · Optical motion capture · Reference systems · Spatial parameters · Stride length · Test-retest reliability · Turning angles · U-shaped · Wearable systems · Gait analysis · Inertial navigation systems · Sensors · Wearable computers · Three dimensional · accuracy · adult · age distribution · aged · algorithm · article · controlled study · equipment design · foot clearance · foot worn inertial sensor · gait · human · human experiment · kinematics · mathematical computing · motion analysis system · musculoskeletal system examination · performance measurement system · priority journal · process optimization · reproducibility · sensor · signal processing · stride length · stride velocity · system analysis · turning angle · Adult · Aged · Aging · Algorithms · Biomechanics · Female · Foot · Gait · Humans · Imaging, Three-Dimensional · Male · Models, Biological · Optical Devices · Remote Sensing Technology · Reproducibility of Results · Young Adult · High Tech Systems & Materials · Industrial Innovation · Mechatronics, Mechanics & Materials · HOL - Holst · TS - Technical Sciences


This study describes the validation of a new wearable system for assessment of 3D spatial parameters of gait. The new method is based on the detection of temporal parameters, coupled to optimized fusion and de-drifted integration of inertial signals. Composed of two wirelesses inertial modules attached on feet, the system provides stride length, stride velocity, foot clearance, and turning angle parameters at each gait cycle, based on the computation of 3D foot kinematics. Accuracy and precision of the proposed system were compared to an optical motion capture system as reference. Its repeatability across measurements (test-retest reliability) was also evaluated. Measurements were performed in 10 young (mean age 26.1±2.8 years) and 10 elderly volunteers (mean age 71.6±4.6 years) who were asked to perform U-shaped and 8-shaped walking trials, and then a 6-min walking test (6. MWT). A total of 974 gait cycles were used to compare gait parameters with the reference system. Mean accuracy±precision was 1.5±6.8. cm for stride length, 1.4±5.6. cm/s for stride velocity, 1.9±2.0. cm for foot clearance, and 1.6±6.1° for turning angle. Difference in gait performance was observed between young and elderly volunteers during the 6. MWT particularly in foot clearance. The proposed method allows to analyze various aspects of gait, including turns, gait initiation and termination, or inter-cycle variability. The system is lightweight, easy to wear and use, and suitable for clinical application requiring objective evaluation of gait outside of the lab environment. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.