Inertial sensor-based stride parameter calculation from gait sequences in geriatric patients

Alexander Rampp, Jens Barth, Samuel Schülein, Karl-Günter Gaßmann, Jochen Klucken, Björn M Eskofier
IEEE Transactions on Bio-medical Engineering 2015, 62 (4): 1089-97
A detailed and quantitative gait analysis can provide evidence of various gait impairments in elderly people. To provide an objective decision-making basis for gait analysis, simple applicable tests analyzing a high number of strides are required. A mobile gait analysis system, which is mounted on shoes, can fulfill these requirements. This paper presents a method for computing clinically relevant temporal and spatial gait parameters. Therefore, an accelerometer and a gyroscope were positioned laterally below each ankle joint. Temporal gait events were detected by searching for characteristic features in the signals. To calculate stride length, the gravity compensated accelerometer signal was double integrated, and sensor drift was modeled using a piece-wise defined linear function. The presented method was validated using GAITRite-based gait parameters from 101 patients (average age 82.1 years). Subjects performed a normal walking test with and without a wheeled walker. The parameters stride length and stride time showed a correlation of 0.93 and 0.95 between both systems. The absolute error of stride length was 6.26 cm on normal walking test. The developed system as well as the GAITRite showed an increased stride length, when using a four-wheeled walker as walking aid. However, the walking aid interfered with the automated analysis of the GAITRite system, but not with the inertial sensor-based approach. In summary, an algorithm for the calculation of clinically relevant gait parameters derived from inertial sensors is applicable in the diagnostic workup and also during long-term monitoring approaches in the elderly population.

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