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Validity of the Kinect for Gait Assessment: A Focused Review

Shmuel Springer, Galit Yogev Seligmann
Sensors 2016, 16 (2): 194
Gait analysis may enhance clinical practice. However, its use is limited due to the need for expensive equipment which is not always available in clinical settings. Recent evidence suggests that Microsoft Kinect may provide a low cost gait analysis method. The purpose of this report is to critically evaluate the literature describing the concurrent validity of using the Kinect as a gait analysis instrument. An online search of PubMed, CINAHL, and ProQuest databases was performed. Included were studies in which walking was assessed with the Kinect and another gold standard device, and consisted of at least one numerical finding of spatiotemporal or kinematic measures. Our search identified 366 papers, from which 12 relevant studies were retrieved. The results demonstrate that the Kinect is valid only for some spatiotemporal gait parameters. Although the kinematic parameters measured by the Kinect followed the trend of the joint trajectories, they showed poor validity and large errors. In conclusion, the Kinect may have the potential to be used as a tool for measuring spatiotemporal aspects of gait, yet standardized methods should be established, and future examinations with both healthy subjects and clinical participants are required in order to integrate the Kinect as a clinical gait analysis tool.


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