Validity of accelerometry in step detection and gait speed measurement in orthogeriatric patients

Alexander M. Keppler, Timur Nuritidinow, Arne Mueller, Holger Hoefling, Matthias Schieker, Ieuan Clay, Wolfgang Böcker, Julian Fürmetz
Mobile accelerometry is a powerful and promising option to capture
long-term changes in gait in both clinical and real-world scenarios.
Increasingly, gait parameters have demonstrated their value as clinical
outcome parameters, but validation of these parameters in elderly
patients is still limited.

The aim of this study was to implement a validation framework
appropriate for elderly patients and representative of real-world
settings, and to use this framework to test and improve algorithms for
mobile accelerometry data in an orthogeriatric population.

Twenty elderly subjects wearing a 3D-accelerometer completed a parcours
imitating a real-world scenario. High-definition video and mobile
reference speed capture served to validate different algorithms.

Particularly at slow gait speeds, relevant improvements in accuracy have
been achieved. Compared to the reference the deviation was less than 1%
in step detection and less than 0.05 m/s in gait speed measurements,
even for slow walking subjects (< 0.8 m/s).

With the described setup, algorithms for step and gait speed detection
have successfully been validated in an elderly population and
demonstrated to have improved performance versus previously published
algorithms. These results are promising that long-term and/or real-world
measurements are possible with an acceptable accuracy even in elderly
frail patients with slow gait speeds.

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