Thi Kieu Hanh Than (MHSc): Design and development of a novel sensor network for the assessment of mobility limitations in individuals living with a neurological or musculoskeletal condition

January 24, 2018 @ 9:30 am – 10:00 am
Rosebrugh Building
Rosebrugh Bldg, Toronto, ON M5S 3G9

Room: RS 211


Background: Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), known as concussion, results from falls, vehicle-related collisions or violence. Populations with mTBI may observe difficulties in mobility functions due to neurological and muscular skeletal impairments. Various existing assistive technologies have been used in assessment, treatment and rehabilitation in mTBI; however, they have certain levels of limitations including low sensitivity, high cost, inaccessible outside of the laboratory, or complex system requirements. The purpose of this project is to design and develop an optical sensor networking system using a ZX distance and gesture sensor that offers safety, high accuracy, low cost, and more user friendly techniques to assist the clinical community. More broadly, this design system also focuses on developing large scale multi-centre clinical trials across Canada that incorporate objective measures of mobility impairment.

Method: Observation and advice from clinicians on mobility function of participants with mTBI will be taken place at Toronto-Rehab. The optical sensor configuration will be designed based on mobility functional detection and limitations (i.e., distance ranges between the sensor and a subject) of the ZX distance and gesture sensor (shown in Fig. 1- Appendix B). Accuracy and precision of the design system will be tested by comparing with Vicon 3D motion analysis system available in the laboratory. Database network will be developed and tested separated computers in the laboratory, at different locations, and finally at multi-centre clinics. In this project, 20 healthy subjects and 25 subjects with mTBI will be recruited to perform the functional balance test. Each participants will attend 5 trials and 2 minutes per trial. Distinguishes in mobility functions of two groups will be analyzed using MATLAB software. Finally, it is significant to collect evaluations from first hand patients and opinions from physicans/ clinicians for future improvements.

Expected results: The study expects to design and develop an optical sensor system which offers safe, low-cost, high accurate, and simple for home use. Real-time collected data can be shared and analyzed by physicians at multi-centre clinics.

Significance: This design system will address the healthcare network system across Canada by encouraging more population with mTBI involved in in-home rehabilitation, which could lead to significant reduction in patients’ travelling time and cost. Furthermore, this project could be also used to support research and teaching purposes since the data contains a large sample size. More broadly, the system’s data can be integrated into clinics across Canada and served as the foundation development of multi-centre clinical trials.