Validation of an ambient measurement system (AMS) for physical activities in a paediatric population

Jonathan S Varsanik, Zebadiah M Kimmel, Genevieve A Laforet, Valeria Ricotti, Gautam Sajeev, James Signorovitch, Jorge A Quiroz, Timothy W Chevalier
Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology 2019 July 15, : 1-8
Ambient measurement systems (AMSs) can enable continuous assessment of functional performance at home, increasing the availability of data for monitoring of neuromuscular disease. An AMS passively measures movement whenever someone is in range of the sensor, without the need for any wearable sensors. The current study evaluates the performance of an AMS for three metrics associated with functional assessments in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD): ambulation speed, rise-to-stand speed and arm-raise speed. Healthy paediatric subjects performed a series of functional tasks and were graded by both a human rater and an AMS. Linear mixed-effect models were fit to calculate agreement between the two measurement methods. For all activities, the AMS and human rater supplied similar measurements of average speed, with correlation coefficients of 0.76-0.92 and systematic differences ranging in magnitude from 0 to 0.48 m per second. The largest systematic difference was for the 10-m run, which was likely due to human rater reaction time. Systematic differences in arm-raise measurements were due to incomplete execution of movements by test participants. These results are consistent with previous studies comparing automated and manual measurements of movement. This study demonstrates that an AMS device is able to measure ambulation speed, rise-to-stand speed and arm-raise speed in a paediatric population in a controlled setting without the need for complicated installation, calibration or worn sensors.

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