Indirect measurement of anterior-posterior ground reaction forces using a minimal set of wearable inertial sensors: from healthy to hemiparetic walking
De Rossi, S.M.M.
Awad, Louis N.
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Citation (published version)D.A. Revi, A.M. Alvarez, C.J. Walsh, S.M.M. De Rossi, L.N. Awad. 2020. "Indirect measurement of anterior-posterior ground reaction forces using a minimal set of wearable inertial sensors: from healthy to hemiparetic walking.." J Neuroeng Rehabil, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp. 82 - ?. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12984-020-00700-7
BACKGROUND: The anterior-posterior ground reaction force (AP-GRF) and propulsion and braking point metrics derived from the AP-GRF time series are indicators of locomotor function across healthy and neurological diagnostic groups. In this paper, we describe the use of a minimal set of wearable inertial measurement units (IMUs) to indirectly measure the AP-GRFs generated during healthy and hemiparetic walking. METHODS: Ten healthy individuals and five individuals with chronic post-stroke hemiparesis completed a 6-minute walk test over a walking track instrumented with six forceplates while wearing three IMUs securely attached to the pelvis, thigh, and shank. Subject-specific models driven by IMU-measured thigh and shank angles and an estimate of body acceleration provided by the pelvis IMU were used to generate indirect estimates of the AP-GRF time series. Propulsion and braking point metrics (i.e., peaks, peak timings, and impulses) were extracted from the IMU-generated time series. Peaks and impulses were expressed as % bodyweight (%bw) and peak timing was expressed as % stance phase (%sp). A 75%-25% split of 6-minute walk test data was used to train and validate the models. Indirect estimates of the AP-GRF time series and point metrics were compared to direct measurements made by the forceplates. RESULTS: Indirect measurements of the AP-GRF time series approximated the direct measurements made by forceplates, with low error and high consistency in both the healthy (RMSE= 4.5%bw; R2= 0.93) and post-stroke (RMSE= 2.64%bw; R2= 0.90) cohorts. In the healthy cohort, the average errors between indirect and direct measurements of the peak propulsion magnitude, peak propulsion timing, and propulsion impulse point estimates were 2.37%bw, 0.67%sp, and 0.43%bw. In the post-stroke cohort, the average errors for these point estimates were 1.07%bw, 1.27%sp, and 0.31%bw. Average errors for the braking estimates were higher, but comparable. CONCLUSIONS: Accurate estimates of AP-GRF metrics can be generated using three strategically mounted IMUs and subject-specific calibrations. This study advances the development of point-of-care diagnostic systems that can catalyze the routine assessment and management of propulsion and braking locomotor deficits during rehabilitation.
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