With the advent of miniaturised sensing technology, which can be body-worn, it is now possible to collect and store data on different aspects of human movement under the conditions of free-living. This technology has the potential to be used in automated activity profiling systems which produce a continuous record of activity patterns over extended periods of time. Such activity profiling systems are dependent on classification algorithms which can effectively interpret body-worn sensor data and identify different activities. This article reviews the different techniques which have been used to classify normal activities and/or identify falls from body-worn sensor data. The review is structured according to the different analytical techniques and illustrates the variety of approaches which have previously been applied in this field. Although significant progress has been made in this important area, there is still significant scope for further work, particularly in the application of advanced classification techniques to problems involving many different activities.
Abstract-Driven by the demands on healthcare resulting from the shift toward more sedentary lifestyles, considerable effort has been devoted to the monitoring and classification of human activity. In previous studies, various classification schemes and feature extraction methods have been used to identify different activities from a range of different datasets. In this paper, we present a comparison of 14 methods to extract classification features from accelerometer signals. These are based on the wavelet transform and other well-known time-and frequency-domain signal characteristics. To allow an objective comparison between the different features, we used two datasets of activities collected from 20 subjects. The first set comprised three commonly used activities, namely, level walking, stair ascent, and stair descent, and the second a total of eight activities. Furthermore, we compared the classification accuracy for each feature set across different combinations of three different accelerometer placements. The classification analysis has been performed with robust subject-based cross-validation methods using a nearest-neighbor classifier. The findings show that, although the wavelet transform approach can be used to characterize nonstationary signals, it does not perform as accurately as frequencybased features when classifying dynamic activities performed by healthy subjects. Overall, the best feature sets achieved over 95% intersubject classification accuracy.
A new method for estimating knee joint flexion/extension angles from segment acceleration and angular velocity data is described. The approach uses a combination of Kalman filters and biomechanical constraints based on anatomical knowledge. In contrast to many recently published methods, the proposed approach does not make use of the earth's magnetic field and hence is insensitive to the complex field distortions commonly found in modern buildings. The method was validated experimentally by calculating knee angle from measurements taken from two IMUs placed on adjacent body segments. In contrast to many previous studies which have validated their approach during relatively slow activities or over short durations, the performance of the algorithm was evaluated during both walking and running over 5 minute periods. Seven healthy subjects were tested at various speeds from 1 to 5 miles/hour. Errors were estimated by comparing the results against data obtained simultaneously from a 10 camera motion tracking system (Qualysis). The average measurement error ranged from 0.7 degrees for slow walking (1 mph) to 3.4 degrees for running (5mph). The joint constraint used in the IMU analysis was derived from the Qualysis data.Limitations of the method, its clinical application and its possible extension are discussed.
Users of myoelectric prostheses can often find them difficult to control. This can lead to passive-use of the device or total rejection, which can have detrimental effects on the contralateral limb due to overuse. Current clinically available prostheses are “open loop” systems, and although considerable effort has been focused on developing biofeedback to “close the loop,” there is evidence from laboratory-based studies that other factors, notably improving predictability of response, may be as, if not more, important. Interestingly, despite a large volume of research aimed at improving myoelectric prostheses, it is not currently known which aspect of clinically available systems has the greatest impact on overall functionality and everyday usage. A protocol has, therefore, been designed to assess electromyographic (EMG) skill of the user and predictability of the prosthesis response as significant parts of the control chain, and to relate these to functionality and everyday usage. Here, we present the protocol and results from early pilot work. A set of experiments has been developed. First, to characterize user skill in generating the required level of EMG signal, as well as the speed with which users are able to make the decision to activate the appropriate muscles. Second, to measure unpredictability introduced at the skin–electrode interface, in order to understand the effects of the socket-mounted electrode fit under different loads on the variability of time taken for the prosthetic hand to respond. To evaluate prosthesis user functionality, four different outcome measures are assessed. Using a simple upper limb functional task prosthesis users are assessed for (1) success of task completion, (2) task duration, (3) quality of movement, and (4) gaze behavior. To evaluate everyday usage away from the clinic, the symmetricity of their real-world arm use is assessed using activity monitoring. These methods will later be used to assess a prosthesis user cohort to establish the relative contribution of each control factor to the individual measures of functionality and everyday usage (using multiple regression models). The results will support future researchers, designers, and clinicians in concentrating their efforts on the area that will have the greatest impact on improving prosthesis use.
BackgroundA recent study showed that the gaze patterns of amputee users of myoelectric prostheses differ markedly from those seen in anatomically intact subjects. Gaze behaviour is a promising outcome measures for prosthesis designers, as it appears to reflect the strategies adopted by amputees to compensate for the absence of proprioceptive feedback and uncertainty/delays in the control system, factors believed to be central to the difficulty in using prostheses. The primary aim of our study was to characterise visuomotor behaviours over learning to use a trans-radial myoelectric prosthesis. Secondly, as there are logistical advantages to using anatomically intact subjects in prosthesis evaluation studies, we investigated similarities in visuomotor behaviours between anatomically intact users of a trans-radial prosthesis simulator and experienced trans-radial myoelectric prosthesis users.MethodsIn part 1 of the study, we investigated visuomotor behaviours during performance of a functional task (reaching, grasping and manipulating a carton) in a group of seven anatomically intact subjects over learning to use a trans-radial myoelectric prosthesis simulator (Dataset 1). Secondly, we compared their patterns of visuomotor behaviour with those of four experienced trans-radial myoelectric prosthesis users (Dataset 2). We recorded task movement time, performance on the SHAP test of hand function and gaze behaviour.ResultsDataset 1 showed that while reaching and grasping the object, anatomically intact subjects using the prosthesis simulator devoted around 90% of their visual attention to either the hand or the area of the object to be grasped. This pattern of behaviour did not change with training, and similar patterns were seen in Dataset 2. Anatomically intact subjects exhibited significant increases in task duration at their first attempts to use the prosthesis simulator. At the end of training, the values had decreased and were similar to those seen in Dataset 2.ConclusionsThe study provides the first functional description of the gaze behaviours seen during use of a myoelectric prosthesis. Gaze behaviours were found to be relatively insensitive to practice. In addition, encouraging similarities were seen between the amputee group and the prosthesis simulator group.
Background: In the evaluation of upper limb impairment post stroke there remains a gap between detailed kinematic analyses with expensive motion capturing systems and common clinical assessment tests. In particular, although many clinical tests evaluate the performance of functional tasks, metrics to characterise upper limb kinematics are generally not applicable to such tasks and very limited in scope. This paper reports on a novel, user-friendly methodology that allows for the assessment of both signal magnitude and timing variability in upper limb movement trajectories during functional task performance. In order to demonstrate the technique, we report on a study in which the variability in timing and signal magnitude of data collected during the performance of two functional tasks is compared between a group of subjects with stroke and a group of individually matched control subjects.
Studies of the effectiveness of prosthetic hands involve assessing user performance on functional tasks, typically collected in the lab, sometimes combined with self-report of real-world use. In this paper we compare real-world upper limb activity between a group of 20 myoelectric prosthesis users and 20 anatomically intact adults. Activity was measured from wrist-worn accelerometers over a 7-day period. The temporal patterns in upper limb activity are presented and the balance of activity between the two limbs quantified. We also evaluated the prosthesis users’ performance on a goal-directed task, characterised using measures including task success rate, completion time, gaze behaviour patterns, and kinematics (e.g. variability and patterns in hand aperture). Prosthesis users were heavily reliant on their intact limb during everyday life, in contrast to anatomically intact adults who demonstrated similar reliance on both upper limbs. There was no significant correlation between the amount of time a prosthesis was worn and reliance on the intact limb, and there was no significant correlation between either of these measures and any of the assessed kinematic and gaze-related measures of performance. We found participants who had been prescribed a prosthesis for longer to demonstrate more symmetry in their overall upper limb activity, although this was not reflected in the symmetry of unilateral limb use. With the exception of previously published case studies, this is the first report of real world upper limb activity in myoelectric prosthesis users and confirms the widely held belief that users are heavily reliant on their intact limb.
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