Accuracy, sensitivity and robustness of five different methods for the estimation of gait temporal parameters using a single inertial sensor mounted on the lower trunk

Diana Trojaniello, Andrea Cereatti, Ugo Della Croce
Gait & Posture 2014, 40 (4): 487-92
In the last decade, various methods for the estimation of gait events and temporal parameters from the acceleration signals of a single inertial measurement unit (IMU) mounted at waist level have been proposed. Despite the growing interest for such methodologies, a thorough comparative analysis of methods with regards to number of extra and missed events, accuracy and robustness to IMU location is still missing in the literature. The aim of this work was to fill this gap. Five methods have been tested on single IMU data acquired from fourteen healthy subjects walking while being recorded by a stereo-photogrammetric system and two force platforms. The sensitivity in detecting initial and final contacts varied between 81% and 100% across methods, whereas the positive predictive values ranged between 94% and 100%. For all tested methods, stride and step time estimates were obtained; three of the selected methods also allowed estimation of stance, swing and double support time. Results showed that the accuracy in estimating step and stride durations was acceptable for all methods. Conversely, a statistical difference was found in the error in estimating stance, swing and double support time, due to the larger errors in the final contact determination. Except for one method, the IMU positioning on the lower trunk did not represent a critical factor for the estimation of gait temporal parameters. Results obtained in this study may not be applicable to pathologic gait.

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