Access to skilled orthotists can be hindered by geography or availability, so to resolve this challenge a research team evaluated the accuracy of fitting a prefabricated wrist splint using artificial intelligence (AI) through an app on a smart device. The researchers found AI could accurately predict wrist splint size and was more accurate than the manufacturer sizing chart.
Healthy volunteers were recruited to be fitted with wrist braces. As a control, the subjects independently selected the best brace fit from an array of available splints. Using two standardized calibrated images captured by the smart device, each subject’s image was loaded into the machine learning software where hand features were extracted, calibrated, and measured. The application then calculated the splint size and compared it with the size chosen by the subjects to improve its accuracy. As the second method of fitting, the researchers compared the manufacturer-recommended brace size (based on measured wrist circumference and provided sizing chart/insert brochure) with the AI-fitted splint.
Fifty-four volunteers were included. Thirty-two splints predicted by the algorithm matched the exact size chosen by each subject yielding 70 percent accuracy with a standard deviation of 10 percent. The accuracy increased to 90 percent with 5 percent standard deviation if the splints were predicted within the next size category. Fitting by the manufacturer sizing chart was only 33 percent in agreement with the participants’ selections.
According to the study, as more subjects were analyzed, the algorithm became more accurate at predicting proper brace fit.
The study, “Remote fit wrist braces through artificial intelligence,” was published in Prosthetics and Orthotics International.