Evaluation of a Wearable Sensor System Monitoring Posture Changes and Activities for Use in Rehabilitation
Kosuke Motoi*, Shinobu Tanaka**, Yutaka Kuwae***,
Tadahiko Yuji***, Yuji Higashi***, Toshiro Fujimoto***,
and Ken-ichi Yamakoshi**
*Venture Business Laboratory, Kanazawa University, Kakuma-machi, Kanazawa 920-1192, Japan
**Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Kanazawa University
***Fujimoto Hayasuzu Hospital, 17-1 Hayasuzu-cho, Miyakonojyou-city, Miyazaki 885-0055, Japan
To evaluate the effectiveness of rehabilitation, physical therapists must assess the posture changes in patients standing-up, walking, etc. Conventional subjective assessment of using direct observation or interviews at rehabilitation centers and of the actual physical condition is difficult, calling for the development of objective measurement of the posture change and activity both at rehabilitation centers, and in the home. One way to do so is to record these using a video camera, but the measurement range is usually limited and not useful in rehabilitation. A wearable system for monitoring angle changes in the trunk, thigh, and calf on the sagittal plane together with walking speed we developed earlier, required that the user carry three sensors for the trunk, thigh, and calf and a data logger, and wear cumbersome cables. To eliminate this practical drawback, we designed a new sensor for rehabilitation and quantitatively assessed posture change during rehabilitation and activity in daily living using the new system. We combined the previous four units into two – a jacket-typed trunk unit holding a data logger and a sensor for measuring trunk angle change and a knee-supporter-typed lower limb sensors containing two angular sensors – greatly simplifying the cumbersome cable assembly. We measured activity in eight rehabilitation subjects and four subjects during daily living using the wearable device. Results demonstrated that our device could measured detailed motion characteristics as angle changes between body segments during rehabilitation, and the rate of four activities – standing, walking, sitting, and lying – during daily living, making it useful in rehabilitation.
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