Sensor Fusion to Infer Locations of Standing and Reaching Within the Home in Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury

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Abstract

Objective

The objective of rehabilitation after spinal cord injury is to enable successful function in everyday life and independence at home. Clinical tests can assess whether patients are able to execute functional movements but are limited in assessing such information at home. A prototype system is developed that detects stand-to-reach activities, a movement with important functional implications, at multiple locations within a mock kitchen.

Design

Ten individuals with incomplete spinal cord injuries performed a sequence of standing and reaching tasks. The system monitored their movements by combining two sources of information: a triaxial accelerometer, placed on the subject's thigh, detected sitting or standing, and a network of radio frequency tags, wirelessly connected to a wrist-worn device, detected reaching at three locations. A threshold-based algorithm detected execution of the combined tasks and accuracy was measured by the number of correctly identified events.

Results

The system was shown to have an average accuracy of 98% for inferring when individuals performed stand-to-reach activities at each tag location within the same room.

Conclusions

The combination of accelerometry and tags yielded accurate assessments of functional stand-to-reach activities within a home environment. Optimization of this technology could simplify patient compliance and allow clinicians to assess functional home activities.

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