Design and Evaluation of an IMU Sensor-based System for the Rehabilitation of Upper Limb Motor Dysfunction

By: Bao Tran

Department: Electrical Engineering

Faculty Advisors: Dr. Xiaorong Zhang, Dr. Charmayne Hughes, and Dr. Zhuwei Qin

 Stroke is one of the most significant non-communicable diseases in the world with approximately 15 million people experiencing a new or recurrent stroke each year. Nearly half of stroke survivors have some degree of permanent sensorimotor impairment and require specialized rehabilitation. Wearable technologies are a cost-effective means by which to monitor and provide feedback about sensorimotor function across the different phases of stroke recovery, with insights improving decision-making by rehabilitation clinicians and increasing accountability and motivation for the patient. In this paper, we design and evaluate a wearable sensor system that measures movement kinematics during the performance of activities of daily living. Results indicate high to very high agreement and correlation values between the sensor and the gold-standard motion capture system, regardless of kinematic parameter. In sum, the described sensor is capable of accurately measuring upper limb movement kinematics, using only a single sensor. The adoption of portable and low-cost devices have the ability to make a substantial impact for the millions of persons who exhibit motor impairments after a stroke.