Validation of the angular measurements of a new inertial-measurement-unit based rehabilitation system: Comparison with state-of-the-art gait analysis

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Abstract

© 2014 Leardini et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.Background: Several rehabilitation systems based on inertial measurement units (IMU) are entering the market for the control of exercises and to measure performance progression, particularly for recovery after lower limb orthopaedic treatments. IMU are easy to wear also by the patient alone, but the extent to which IMU's malpositioning in routine use can affect the accuracy of the measurements is not known. A new such system (Riablo™, CoRehab, Trento, Italy), using audio-visual biofeedback based on videogames, was assessed against state-of-the-art gait analysis as the gold standard.Methods. The sensitivity of the system to errors in the IMU's position and orientation was measured in 5 healthy subjects performing two hip joint motion exercises. Root mean square deviation was used to assess differences in the system's kinematic output between the erroneous and correct IMU position and orientation.In order to estimate the system's accuracy, thorax and knee joint motion of 17 healthy subjects were tracked during the execution of standard rehabilitation tasks and compared with the corresponding measurements obtained with an established gait protocol using stereophotogrammetry.Results: A maximum mean error of 3.1 ± 1.8 deg and 1.9 ± 0.8 deg from the angle trajectory with correct IMU position was recorded respectively in the medio-lateral malposition and frontal-plane misalignment tests. Across the standard rehabilitation tasks, the mean distance between the IMU and gait analysis systems was on average smaller than 5°.Conclusions: These findings showed that the tested IMU based system has the necessary accuracy to be safely utilized in rehabilitation programs after orthopaedic treatments of the lower limb.

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Leardini, A., Lullini, G., Giannini, S., Berti, L., Ortolani, M., & Caravaggi, P. (2014). Validation of the angular measurements of a new inertial-measurement-unit based rehabilitation system: Comparison with state-of-the-art gait analysis. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1743-0003-11-136

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