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Concept: Force platform

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The objective of this study was to determine whether kinematic data collected by the Microsoft Kinect 2 (MK2) could be used to quantify postural stability in healthy subjects. Twelve subjects were recruited for the project, and were instructed to perform a sequence of simple postural stability tasks. The movement sequence was performed as subjects were seated on top of a force platform, and the MK2 was positioned in front of them. This sequence of tasks was performed by each subject under three different postural conditions: “both feet on the ground” (1), “One foot off the ground” (2), and “both feet off the ground” (3). We compared force platform and MK2 data to quantify the degree to which the MK2 was returning reliable data across subjects. We then applied a novel machine-learning paradigm to the MK2 data in order to determine the extent to which data from the MK2 could be used to reliably classify different postural conditions. Our initial comparison of force plate and MK2 data showed a strong agreement between the two devices, with strong Pearson correlations between the trunk centroids “Spine_Mid” (0.85 ± 0.06), “Neck” (0.86 ± 0.07) and “Head” (0.87 ± 0.07), and the center of pressure centroid inferred by the force platform. Mean accuracy for the machine learning classifier from MK2 was 97.0%, with a specific classification accuracy breakdown of 90.9%, 100%, and 100% for conditions 1 through 3, respectively. Mean accuracy for the machine learning classifier derived from the force platform data was lower at 84.4%. We conclude that data from the MK2 has sufficient information content to allow us to classify sequences of tasks being performed under different levels of postural stability. Future studies will focus on validating this protocol on large populations of individuals with actual balance impairments in order to create a toolkit that is clinically validated and available to the medical community.

Concepts: Validation, Artificial intelligence, Biomechanics, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, Measuring instrument, Noun class, Force platform, Center of mass

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Atypically high postural sway measured by a force plate is a known risk factor for falls in older adults. Further, it has been shown that small, but significant, reductions in postural sway are possible with various balance exercise interventions. In the present study, a new low-cost force-plate technology called the Balance Tracking System (BTrackS) was utilized to assess postural sway of older adults before and after 90 days of a well-established exercise program called Geri-Fit. Results showed an overall reduction in postural sway across all participants from pre- to post-intervention. However, the magnitude of effects was significantly influenced by the amount of postural sway demonstrated by individuals prior to Geri-Fit training. Specifically, more participants with atypically high postural sway pre-intervention experienced an overall postural sway reduction. These reductions experienced were typically greater than the minimum detectable change statistic for the BTrackS Balance Test. Taken together, these findings suggest that BTrackS is an effective means of identifying older adults with elevated postural sway, who are likely to benefit from Geri-Fit training to mitigate fall risk.

Concepts: Redox, Tracking, Measuring instrument, Indian Reductions, Force platform

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Force plates are common assessment tools used in biomechanics to measure ground reaction forces during motion capture or strength exercises. While the accuracy of the resulting kinetic data is critical for accurate gait analysis, factors such as plate mounting are thought to influence the measured point of force application (PFA) of the ground reaction forces. The aim of this study was therefore to present an accurate in-situ PFA calibration method. In addition, the approach was evaluated by examining the required PFA corrections over a period of ten years, which included plate remounting and a change of foundation. The in-situ PFA calibration was performed on six plates by assessing the locations of up to 98 points of force application per plate using an instrumented pole. Application of the in-situ PFA calibration approach reduced the root mean square errors by up to approximately 60% compared to the manufacturers calculation. Correction coefficients were strongly dependent on the individual platform as well as the location of the applied force on the plate. Remounting of the plates altered the plate coefficient corrections considerably, while changes over time were notable but not as extensive. We therefore recommend that plates should be recalibrated after remounting, but also at least every 5 years, in order to ensure the preservation of an accurate PFA.

Concepts: Measurement, Force, Classical mechanics, Root mean square, Reaction, Ground reaction force, Gait analysis, Force platform

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In clinical gait analysis, it is challenging to acquire usable force plate data for a patient in a limited amount of time. The aim of this study was to compare three measurement protocols, to investigate if any one of them was more time-efficient than the others at collecting kinetic data. Three conditions were compared for 15 orthopaedic patients: 1) approaching the force plate with four steps, 2) approaching the force plate with six steps, and 3) approaching the force plate with four steps while stepping on a target one step before the first force plate. Then, the following characteristics were analysed: the rate of usable force plate steps, the spatio-temporal parameters, the full-body gait kinematics, and the lower body kinetics. For the condition with four steps and targeting, the rate of usable force plate steps was highest: 84% (6.8 usable trials out of 8.1 trials on average per patient). Left hip adduction and rotation, right shoulder flexion, and total left hip power were the gait parameters with statistically significant differences between the four and six step approach. Left cadence, right step time, left thorax lateroflexion, left shoulder abduction, total right knee power, hip rotation, thorax tilt, and head tilt on both sides were statistically different between the four step approach with targeting and without targeting. None of the differences in gait parameters (except for head tilt) were of clinical relevance. Therefore, approaching the force plate with four steps and stepping on a foot-sized target one step prior to stepping on the force plate increases the rate of usable kinetic data.

Concepts: Statistical significance, Classical mechanics, Shoulder, Locomotion, Gait analysis, Abduction, Adduction, Force platform

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Real-time detection of multiple stance events, more specifically initial contact (IC), foot flat (FF), heel off (HO), and toe off (TO), could greatly benefit neurorobotic (NR) and neuroprosthetic (NP) control. Three real-time threshold-based algorithms have been developed, detecting the aforementioned events based on kinematic data in combination with a biomechanical model. Data from seven subjects walking at three speeds on an instrumented treadmill were used to validate the presented algorithms, accumulating to a total of 558 steps. The reference for the gait events was obtained using marker and force plate data. All algorithms had excellent precision and no false positives were observed. Timing delays of the presented algorithms were similar to current state-of-the-art algorithms for the detection of IC and TO, whereas smaller delays were achieved for the detection of FF. Our results indicate that, based on their high precision and low delays, these algorithms can be used for the control of an NR/NP, with the exception of the HO event. Kinematic data is used in most NR/NP control schemes and is thus available at no additional cost, resulting in a minimal computational burden. The presented methods can also be applied for screening pathological gait or gait analysis in general in/outside of the laboratory.

Concepts: Data, Detection theory, Biomechanics, Walking, Computational complexity theory, Gait, Gait analysis, Force platform

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To determine if a single low dose of radiation therapy in dogs with osteoarthritis of the elbow joint was associated with a detectable improvement in their lameness and pain as documented by force platform gait analysis.

Concepts: Medicine, Radiation therapy, Elbow, Joints, Gait, Gait analysis, Force platform

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In the last years, gait phase partitioning has come to be a challenging research topic due to its impact on several applications related to gait technologies. A variety of sensors can be used to feed algorithms for gait phase partitioning, mainly classifiable as wearable or non-wearable. Among wearable sensors, footswitches or foot pressure insoles are generally considered as the gold standard; however, to overcome some inherent limitations of the former, inertial measurement units have become popular in recent decades. Valuable results have been achieved also though electromyography, electroneurography, and ultrasonic sensors. Non-wearable sensors, such as opto-electronic systems along with force platforms, remain the most accurate system to perform gait analysis in an indoor environment. In the present paper we identify, select, and categorize the available methodologies for gait phase detection, analyzing advantages and disadvantages of each solution. Finally, we comparatively examine the obtainable gait phase granularities, the usable computational methodologies and the optimal sensor placements on the targeted body segments.

Concepts: Present, Gold, Units of measurement, Sensor, Image sensor, Sensors, Gait, Force platform

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The present study aimed to examine the effect of time-of-day on postural control, body temperature, and attentional capacities in 5-6year old children. Twelve male children (5-6-year-old) were asked to maintain an upright bipedal stance on a force platform with eyes open (EO) and eyes closed (EC) at 07:00, 10:00, 14:00, and 18:00h. Postural control was evaluated by center of pressure (CoP) surface area (CoPArea), CoP mean velocity (CoPVm), length of the CoP displacement as a function of the surface (LFS) ratio and Romberg’s index (RI). Oral temperature and the simple reaction time were also recorded at the beginning of each test session. The one way ANOVA (4time-of-day) showed significant time-of-day effects on CoPArea (p<0.001), CoPVm (p<0.01), LFS ratio (p<0.001) and RI (p<0.01). Children's postural control was lower at 07:00h and at 14:00h in comparison with 10:00h and 18:00h. Likewise, the reaction time was significantly (p<0.001) better at 10:00h and 18:00h in comparison with 07:00h and 14:00h. Oral temperature was higher at 14:00h and 18:00h than 08:00h and 10:00h (p<0.001). In conclusion, the children's postural control fluctuates during the daytime (i.e., better postural control at 10:00h and at 18:00h) with a diurnal rhythm close to that of body temperature and attentional capacities. Therefore, the evaluation of changes in postural control of 5-6-year-old children using force plate measures is recommended in the middle morning or the late afternoon to avoid the post-awakening and the post-prandial phases.

Concepts: Chemical reaction, Effect, Circadian rhythm, Measuring instrument, Reaction time, Force platform, The Cop, One-way ANOVA

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Instrumented gait analysis (GA) may be used to analyze the causes of gait deviation in stroke patients but generates a large amount of complex data. The task of transforming this data into a comprehensible report is cumbersome. Intelligent data analysis (IDA) refers to the use of computational methods in order to analyze quantitative data more effectively. The purpose of this review was to identify and appraise the available IDA methods for handling GA data collected from patients with stroke using the standard equipment of a gait lab (3D/2D motion capture, force plates, EMG). Eleven databases were systematically searched and fifteen studies that employed some type of IDA method for the analysis of kinematic and/or kinetic and/or EMG data in populations involving stroke patients were identified. Four categories of IDA methods were employed for the analysis of sensor-acquired data in these fifteen studies: classification methods, dimensionality reduction methods, clustering methods and expert systems. The methodological quality of these studies was critically appraised by examining sample characteristics, measurements and IDA properties. Three overall methodological shortcomings were identified: (1) small sample sizes and underreported patient characteristics, (2) testing of which method is best suited to the analysis was neglected and (3) lack of stringent validation procedures. No IDA method for GA data from stroke patients was identified that can be directly applied to clinical practice. Our findings suggest that the potential provided by IDA methods is not being fully exploited.

Concepts: Scientific method, Sample size, Data analysis, Motion capture, Gait, Locomotion, Gait analysis, Force platform

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Objectives: To develop a platform that used standard size force plates for large breed dogs to capture ground reaction force data from any size dog. Methods: A walkway platform was constructed to accommodate two force plates (60 cm x 40 cm) positioned in series to a variety of smaller sizes. It was constructed from a custom wood frame with thick aluminium sheet force plate covers that prevented transfer of load to the force plate, except for rectangular windows of three different dimensions. A friction study was performed to ensure plates did not translate relative to one another during gait trials. A prospective, observational, single crossover study design was used to compare the effect of force platform configuration (full plate size [original plate], half plate size [modified plate]) on ground reaction forces using eight adult healthy Labrador Retriever dogs. Results: Slippage of the steel plate on the force plate did not occur. Peak propulsion force was the only kinetic variable statistically different between the full size and half sized platforms. There were no clinically significant differences between the full and half force platforms for the variables and dogs studied. Discussion and conclusion: The modified force platform allows the original 60 x 40 cm force plate to be adjusted effectively to a 30 x 40 cm, 20 x 40 cm and 15 x 40 cm sized plate with no clinically significant change in kinetic variables. This modification that worked for large breed dogs will potentially allow kinetic analysis of a large variety of dogs with different stride lengths.

Concepts: Force, Classical mechanics, Labrador Retriever, Reaction, Ground reaction force, Dog breed, Force platform, Retriever