High Fidelity and Objectivity in Balance Assessment



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Body balance is an essential capability for an individual to perform functional activities. There are various performance-based balance measures available to occupational therapists. However, conventional balance measures are limited due to subjectivity. There is a prominent need for a more objective and accurate assessment. NIMBLE, using motion sensing and tracking system was developed for a more objective and accurate measure of body movement with high-resolution recording. A pilot study was conducted in 20 participants for functional sitting balance measures by using both paper-based assessment and the NIMBLE. Results showed substantial discrepancies when the NIMBLE was able to detect balance deficits when the paper-based measures failed. The NIMBLE system can accurately capture the extraction of joint centers and segment orientation, providing the ability to calculate joint kinematics and Spatio-temporal aspects of the movement. With this low cost and friendly interface, it has great potential to be widely used in healthcare practices. This project was completed with contributions from Pei-Fen Chang from Texas Woman's University.