Design and development of a novel sensor system configuration for the assessment of upper limb mobility limitations in individuals living with a neurological or musculoskeletal condition

Than, Thi Kieu Hanh1; Dr. Jan Andrysek2; Dr. Bradford J. McFadyen3; Dr. Karl Zabjek4

1. IBBME Clinical Engineering, University Of Toronto; 2.

Assistant Professor & Associate Director, Professional Programs University of Toronto; 3. Professeur titulaire, Département de réadaptation, Université Laval; 4. Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto

Background: Concussion (also known as mild traumatic brain injury/ mTBI) results from falls, vehicle-related collisions or violence. Populations with concussion may observe difficulties in mobility functions due to neurological and muscular skeletal impairments including cognitive memory impairments. Individuals with concussion had reported in longer time of signal processing due to cognitive memory impairments. Various existing assistive technologies have been used in assessment, treatment and rehabilitation in concussion; 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 assessment clinical tool for upper limb movement (i.e., hand movement) using an optical sensor that offers safety, high accuracy, low cost, and more user friendly techniques to assist the clinical community. This tool will be accessed and used by the clinician and patient in both clinical and home environments. More broadly, this assessment tool might be applied in development of large scale multi-centre clinical trials across Canada that incorporate objective measures of mobility impairment such as upper limb movements.

Method:The optical sensor system configuration will be designed based on mobility functional detection and limitations (i.e., distance detection between the sensor and a subject) of the optical sensor. Accuracy and precision of the design system will be tested by comparing with Vicon 3D motion capture system available in the laboratory. It is hypothesized that this optical sensor system will reveal significant differences in reaction time of upper limb mobility function between Control group (i.e., healthy group) and Concussion group during performance of a multi-task paradigm (i.e., using Corsi Block Test and auditory task). Distinguishes in upper-limb mobility functions of these two groups will be analyzed using Matlab software.

Expected results: The study expects the design and development of the optical sensor configuration system that would offer safe, low-cost, high accurate, and simple for both clinicians and patients. This developed system configuration would be easily used in both clinical and home environments as an assessment tool for mobility functions including upper limb mobility.

Significance: This design system will address the healthcare network system across Canada by encouraging more population with concussion 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.