Movement measurements at home for multiple sclerosis: walking speed measured by a novel ambient measurement system

Victoria Mj Smith, Jonathan S Varsanik, Rachel A Walker, Andrew W Russo, Kevin R Patel, Wendy Gabel, Glenn A Phillips, Zebadiah M Kimmel, Eric C Klawiter
Multiple Sclerosis Journal—Experimental, Translational and Clinical 2018, 4 (1): 2055217317753465

Background: Gait disturbance is a major contributor to clinical disability in multiple sclerosis (MS). A sensor was developed to assess walking speed at home for people with MS using infrared technology in real-time without the use of wearables.

Objective: To develop continuous in-home outcome measures to assess gait in adults with MS.

Methods: Movement measurements were collected continuously for 8 months from six people with MS. Average walking speed and peak walking speed were calculated from movement data, then analyzed for variability over time, by room (location), and over the course of the day. In-home continuous gait outcomes and variability were correlated with standard in-clinic gait outcomes.

Results: Measured in-home average walking speed of participants ranged from 0.33 m/s to 0.96 m/s and peak walking speed ranged from 0.89 m/s to 1.51 m/s. Mean total within-participant coefficient of variation for daily average walking speed and peak walking speed were 10.75% and 10.93%, respectively. Average walking speed demonstrated a moderately strong correlation with baseline Timed 25-Foot Walk (rs  = 0.714, P  = 0.111).

Conclusion: New non-wearable technology provides reliable and continuous in-home assessment of walking speed.

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