Accurate step detection is crucial for the estimation of gait spatio-temporal parameters. Although several step detection methods based on the use of inertial measurement units (IMUs) have been successfully proposed, they may not perform adequately when the foot is dragged while walking, when walking aids are used, or when walking at low speed. The aim of this study was to test an original step-detection method, the inter-foot distance step counter (IFOD), based on the direct measurement of the distance between feet. Gait data were recorded using a wearable prototype system (SWING2DS), which integrates an IMU and two time-of-flight distance sensors (DSs). The system was attached to the medial side of the right foot with one DS positioned close to the forefoot (FOREDS) and the other close to the rearfoot (REARDS). Sixteen healthy adults were asked to walk over ground for two minutes along a loop, including both rectilinear and curvilinear portions, during two experimental sessions. The accuracy of the IFOD step counter was assessed using a stereo-photogrammetric system as gold standard. The best performance was obtained for REARDS with an accuracy higher than 99.8% for the instrumented foot step and 88.8% for the non-instrumented foot step during both rectilinear and curvilinear walks. Key features of the IFOD step counter are that it is possible to detect both right and left steps by instrumenting one foot only and that it does not rely on foot impact dynamics. The IFOD step counter can be combined with existing IMU-based methods for increasing step-detection accuracy.
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|Titolo:||A wearable solution for accurate step detection based on the direct measurement of the inter-foot distance|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|