Inertial sensor measurements of upper-limb kinematics in stroke patients in clinic and home environment

Jeremia P.O. Held* (Corresponding Author), Bart Klaassen, Albert Eenhoorn, Bert-Jan F. van Beijnum, Jaap H. Buurke, Peter H. Veltink, Andreas R. Luft

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Upper-limb impairments in stroke patients are usually measured in clinical setting using standard clinical assessment. In addition, kinematic analysis using opto-electronic systems has been used in the laboratory setting to map arm recovery. Such kinematic measurements cannot capture the actual function of the upper extremity in daily life. The aim of this study is to longitudinally explore the complementarity of post-stroke upper-limb recovery measured by standard clinical assessments and daily-life recorded kinematics. Methods: The study was designed as an observational, single-group study to evaluate rehabilitation progress in a clinical and home environment, with a full-body sensor system in stroke patients. Kinematic data were recorded with a full-body motion capture suit during clinical assessment and self-directed activities of daily living. The measurements were performed at three time points for 3 h: (1) 2 weeks before discharge of the rehabilitation clinic, (2) right after discharge, and (3) 4 weeks after discharge. The kinematic analysis of reaching movements uses the position and orientation of each body segment to derive the joint angles. Newly developed metrics for classifying activity and quality of upper extremity movement were applied. Results: The data of four stroke patients (three mildly impaired, one sever impaired) were included in this study. The arm motor function assessment improved during the inpatient rehabilitation, but declined in the first 4 weeks after discharge. A change in the data (kinematics and new metrics) from the daily-life recording was seen in in all patients. Despite this worsening patients increased the number of reaches they performed during daily life in their home environment. Conclusion: It is feasible to measure arm kinematics using Inertial Measurement Unit sensors during daily life in stroke patients at the different stages of rehabilitation. Our results from the daily-life recordings complemented the data from the clinical assessments and illustrate the potential to identify stroke patient characteristics, based on kinematics, reaching counts, and work area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27
JournalFrontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology
Issue numberAPR
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2018


  • Assessments
  • Daily-life activities
  • Kinematic
  • Monitoring
  • Rehabilitation
  • Sensors
  • Stroke


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