11 Apr 2014

INTERACTION, a European FP7 project coordinated by the University of Twente (UT), has developed a new full body sensor system as a joint effort of the project partners, including Xsens, Smartex, University of Zurich, Roessingh Research and Development (RRD) and University of Pisa.

Currently, the changes of functional capacity and performance of stroke patients after returning home from a rehabilitation hospital is unknown for a physician, having no objective information about the intensity and quality of a patient’s daily-life activities. Therefore, there is a need to develop and validate an unobtrusive and modular system for objectively monitoring the stroke patient’s upper and lower extremity motor function in daily-life activities and in home training. This is the main goal of the INTERACTION project.

Four complete sensing systems have been developed. Each system consists of 14 Xsens MTw sensors. Seven of them are modified for a connection with Knitted Piezoresistive Fabric (KPF) goniometers, KPF strain sensors and EMG electrodes developed by University of Pisa and force insoles developed by the UT. This results in a full body wireless system using the MTw wireless capabilities, housing and batteries for the additional sensors. All sensors are integrated into a modular sensor suit designed for stroke patients by Smartex in collaboration with RRD and fabricated by Smartex.

A data architecture has been developed by the UT, where sensor data are captured wirelessly via a new gateway software application using the Xsens SDK. The data is sent in an European Date Format (EDF) to a remote secure database. A portal server can retrieve the data for data processing and visualisation on a web portal. Data processing incorporates the Xsens Motion Capture Engine to get position and orientation of each body segment. Kinematic estimates of the deformable trunk-shoulder segment is augmented by the textile-integrated goniometer sensing over the spine and strain sensing over the shoulder. In collaboration with clinicians and engineers, clinical outcome measures were defined and their presentation on a web portal were discussed as part of an iterative design process.

Stroke patients will be measured in the rehabilitation hospital (capacity measurements) at Roessingh Research and Development (Netherlands) and Cereneo (Switzerland) and at home during Activities of Daily Living (performance measurements) starting in May 2014.

In the photos, Bart Klaassen and Fokke van Meulen demonstrate the new INTERACTION sensor suit, including sensor location and functions. All pictures were taken by bartMedia Designs. The full set can be seen here.

For more information, see the INTERACTION project website.



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