Journal article Open Access
Salis, Francesca; Bertuletti, Stefano; Bonci, Tecla; Croce, Ugo Della; Mazzà, Claudia; Cereatti, Andrea
Abstract: The accurate identification of initial and final foot contacts is a crucial prerequisite for obtaining a reliable estimation of spatio-temporal parameters of gait. Well-accepted gold standard techniques in this field are force platforms and instrumented walkways, which provide a direct measure of the foot–ground reaction forces. Nonetheless, these tools are expensive, non-portable and restrict the analysis to laboratory settings. Instrumented insoles with a reduced number of pressure sensing elements might overcome these limitations, but a suitable method for gait events identification has not been adopted yet. The aim of this paper was to present and validate a method aiming at filling such void, as applied to a system including two insoles with 16 pressure sensing elements (element area = 310 mm2), sampling at 100 Hz. Gait events were identified exploiting the sensor redundancy and a cluster-based strategy. The method was tested in the laboratory against force platforms on nine healthy subjects for a total of 801 initial and final contacts. Initial and final contacts were detected with low average errors of (about 20 ms and 10 ms, respectively). Similarly, the errors in estimating stance duration and step duration averaged 20 ms and <10 ms, respectively. By selecting appropriate thresholds, the method may be easily applied to other pressure insoles featuring similar requirements.
This work was supported by the Mobilise-D project that has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No. 820820. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Content in this publication reflects the authors’ view and neither IMI nor the European Union, EFPIA, or any Associated Partners are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.