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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Validation of joint angle measurements: comparison of a novel low-cost marker-less system with an industry standard marker-based system

Shayan Bahadori, Philip Davenport, Tikki Immins, Thomas W Wainwright
Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology 2019 April 29, : 1-6
31033375
Human motion tracking is widely used for the assessment of movement dysfunction in orthopaedic patients. Currently, most clinical motion analysis centres use marker-based three-dimensional (3D) systems as they are deemed to be the most accurate method. However, due to space, costs and logistics they are not available in many clinical settings. This study compared joint angles measured in functional tests using the novel low-cost Microsoft Kinect Perfect Phorm system with the established marker-based Nexus VICON system. When measuring right and left knee flexion, the average difference between the VICON and Kinect Perfect Phorm measurement was 13.2%, with a SD of 19.6. Both overestimation and underestimation of the joint angle was recorded in different participants. Although the average percentage difference during hip abduction tests was lower at -3.9%, the range of error was far greater (SD = 75). From this, it can be concluded that the level of accuracy presented in the new low-cost Kinect Perfect Phorm system is not yet suitable for clinical assessments. However, for general tests of performance, and for tracking cases where absolute accuracy is less critical, future versions of this software may have a place.

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