Infoscience

Journal article

Evaluation of a mixed approach combining stationary and wearable systems to monitor gait over long distance

Thanks to decades of research, gait analysis has become an efficient tool. However, mainly due to the price of the motion capture systems, standard gait laboratories have the capability to measure only a few consecutive steps of ground walking. Recently, wearable systems were proposed to measure human motion without volume limitation. Although accurate, these systems are incompatible with most of existing calibration procedures and several years of research will be necessary for their validation. A new approach consisting of using a stationary system with a small capture volume for the calibration procedure and then to measure gait using a wearable system could be very advantageous. It could benefit from the knowledge related to stationary systems, allow long distance monitoring and provide new descriptive parameters. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the potential of this approach. Thus, a combined system was proposed to measure the 3D lower body joints angles and segmental angular velocities. It was then assessed in terms of reliability towards the calibration procedure, repeatability and concurrent validity. The dispersion of the joint angles across calibrations was comparable to those of stationary systems and good reliability was obtained for the angular velocities. The repeatability results confirmed that mean cycle kinematics of long distance walks could be used for subjects' comparison and pointed out an interest for the variability between cycles. Finally, kinematics differences were observed between participants with different ankle conditions. In conclusion, this study demonstrated the potential of a mixed approach for human movement analysis. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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