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Robust step detection from different waist-worn sensor positions – implications for clinical studies

Tietsch, Matthias, Muaremi, Amir, Ieuan, Clay, Kluge, Felix, Hoefling, Holger, Kluge, Felix, Kuederle, Arne, Ulrich, Martin, Eskofier, Bjoern and Mueller, Arne (2020) Robust step detection from different waist-worn sensor positions – implications for clinical studies. Digital biomarkers, 4 (suppl.). pp. 50-58. ISSN 2504-110X


Analysing human gait with inertial sensors provides valuable insights about a wide range of health impairments, including many musculoskeletal and neurological diseases. A representative and reliable assessment of gait requires continuous monitoring over long periods and ideally takes place in the subjects’ habitual environment (free-living). Inconsistent sensor wearing position can affect gait characterization and influence clinical study results, thus clinical study protocols are typically highly proscriptive, instructing all participants to wear the sensor in a uniform manner. This restrictive approach improves data quality but reduces overall adherence. In this work, we analyse the impact of altering sensor wearing position around the waist on sensor signal and step detection. We demonstrate that an asymmetrically worn sensor leads to additional odd-harmonic frequency components in the frequency spectrum. We propose a robust solution to overcome sensor position variation using autocorrelation. The proposed solution reduces the impact of the sensor positioning on gait characterization in clinical studies, thus providing more flexibility to protocol implementation and more freedom to participants to wear the sensor in the position most comfortable to them. This work is a first step towards truly device-agnostic gait assessment in clinical settings.

Item Type: Article
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2021 00:45
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2021 00:45


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