Continuous daily-life monitoring of the functional activities of stroke survivors in their physical interaction with the environment is essential for optimal guidance of rehabilitation therapy by medical professionals and coaching of the patient. Such performance information cannot be obtained with present monitoring systems.
It is the objective of the INTERACTION project to develop and validate an unobtrusive and modular system for monitoring daily life activities and for training of upper and lower extremity motor function in stroke subjects. The system will be unobtrusively integrated in clothing (e-textile), include fabric-based and distributed inertial sensing, and provide telemonitoring and adaptive on-body feedback capabilities. Telesupervision facilities will enable a clinical expert at a distance to evaluate performance effectively, coach the patient and influence training.
Persons who suffered a stroke are trained to recover adequate control over their movements with the objective to optimize their daily-life functional performance. Critical is how good they are able to physically interact with the daily-life environment, including handling objects, controlling body balance during functional ambulation and while interacting with the environment (figure 1). Monitoring such interactions during daily-life goes far beyond identifying activities using body-worn movement sensors, commonly called activity monitoring, which is the current state-of-the-art in ambulatory monitoring. Besides identifying activities, the quality of performance of these activities needs to be assessed. This critically requires combined sensing of body movement and interaction forces, which provide information about the dynamics of the interaction with the environment.
Figure1. Monitoring of physical interactions with the environment and task performance during daily-life
Figure. Experimental evaluation of CoM analysis using instrumented shoes in a stroke subject. The movement sensor modules, additionally mounted on the legs were not used in the CoM analysis. A conventional camera-based movement analysis system and force plates were used as a reference for evaluation.
Figure. Example result of foot placement and CoM trajectory estimate derived from instrumented shoes. The gray area indicates the measurement space of the camera system; the red and blue lines are the CoM trajectory estimates by the instrumented shoe and the reference camera system respectively. In contrast to the reference system, the instrumented shoes can track foot placement and CoM continuously. The results indicated that the stroke subject is leaning towards his healthy side.
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