Towards Posture and Gait Evaluation through Wearable-Based Biofeedback Technologies
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionCesari, P., Cristani, M., Demrozi, F., Pascucci, F., Picotti, P. M., Pravadelli, G., ... & Zenti, L. (2023). Towards Posture and Gait Evaluation through Wearable-Based Biofeedback Technologies. Electronics, 12(3), 644. 10.3390/electronics12030644
In medicine and sport science, postural evaluation is an essential part of gait and posture correction. There are various instruments for quantifying the postural system’s efficiency and determining postural stability which are considered state-of-the-art. However, such systems present many limitations related to accessibility, economic cost, size, intrusiveness, usability, and time-consuming set-up. To mitigate these limitations, this project aims to verify how wearable devices can be assembled and employed to provide feedback to human subjects for gait and posture improvement, which could be applied for sports performance or motor impairment rehabilitation (from neurodegenerative diseases, aging, or injuries). The project is divided into three parts: the first part provides experimental protocols for studying action anticipation and related processes involved in controlling posture and gait based on state-of-the-art instrumentation. The second part provides a biofeedback strategy for these measures concerning the design of a low-cost wearable system. Finally, the third provides algorithmic processing of the biofeedback to customize the feedback based on performance conditions, including individual variability. Here, we provide a detailed experimental design that distinguishes significant postural indicators through a conjunct architecture that integrates state-of-the-art postural and gait control instrumentation and a data collection and analysis framework based on low-cost devices and freely accessible machine learning techniques. Preliminary results on 12 subjects showed that the proposed methodology accurately recognized the phases of the defined motor tasks (i.e., rotate, in position, APAs, drop, and recover) with overall F1-scores of 89.6% and 92.4%, respectively, concerning subject-independent and subject-dependent testing setups.