Wearable Sensors Give Different Mobility Results Than In-clinic Assessment

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A team of researchers explored the clinical viability of using wearable sensors to characterize the functional mobility of people with lower-limb amputations.  The study results suggested that functional capacity measured in the lab was not necessarily reflected in routine walking during daily life, and that the walking measures can be used to aid in the prosthetic prescription process or in the assessment of different interventions, the study concluded.

The researchers collected inertial measurement unit and global positioning system data over two weeks from 17 individuals with lower-limb amputations and 14 healthy non-amputee controls, then calculated stride-by-stride cadence, walking speed, and stride lengths, along with whether they occurred in or out of the home. Self-selected walking speed was also assessed in the lab. Compared to the lab results, both groups walked slower and with a lower cadence during their daily lives. There were no differences in cadence variability between groups or between strides taken in and out of the home.

It was published in IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering.