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Vision-based motion capture for the gait analysis of neurodegenerative diseases: A review.

Gait & Posture 2024 May 8
BACKGROUND: Developments in vision-based systems and human pose estimation algorithms have the potential to detect, monitor and intervene early on neurodegenerative diseases through gait analysis. However, the gap between the technology available and actual clinical practice is evident as most clinicians still rely on subjective observational gait analysis or objective marker-based analysis that is time-consuming.

RESEARCH QUESTION: This paper aims to examine the main developments of vision-based motion capture and how such advances may be integrated into clinical practice.

METHODS: The literature review was conducted in six online databases using Boolean search terms. A commercial system search was also included. A predetermined methodological criterion was then used to assess the quality of the selected articles.

RESULTS: A total of seventeen studies were evaluated, with thirteen studies focusing on gait classification systems and four studies on gait measurement systems. Of the gait classification systems, nine studies utilized artificial intelligence-assisted techniques, while four studies employed statistical techniques. The results revealed high correlations of gait features identified by classifier models with existing clinical rating scales. These systems demonstrated generally high classification accuracies and were effective in diagnosing disease severity levels. Gait measurement systems that extract spatiotemporal and kinematic joint information from video data generally found accurate measurements of gait parameters with low mean absolute errors, high intra- and inter-rater reliability.

SIGNIFICANCE: Low cost, portable vision-based systems can provide proof of concept for the quantification of gait, expansion of gait assessment tools, remote gait analysis of neurodegenerative diseases and a point of care system for orthotic evaluation. However, certain challenges, including small sample sizes, occlusion risks, and selection bias in training models, need to be addressed. Nevertheless, these systems can serve as complementary tools, equipping clinicians with essential gait information to objectively assess disease severity and tailor personalized treatment for enhanced patient care.

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