Measuring 3D hand and finger kinematics - a comparison between inertial sensing and an opto-electronic marker system

J.C. van den Noort, H.G. Kortier, N. van Beek, H.E.J. Veeger, P.H. Veltink

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    Objective analysis of hand and finger kinematics is important to increase understanding of hand function and to quantify motor symptoms for clinical diagnosis. The aim of this paper is to compare a new 3D measurement system containing multiple miniature inertial sensors(PowerGlove) with an opto-electronic marker system during specific finger tasks in three healthy subjects. Various finger movements tasks were performed: flexion, fast flexion, tapping, hand open/closing, ab/adduction and circular pointing. 3D joint angles of the index finger joints and position of the thumb and index were compared between systems. Median root mean square differences of the main joint angles of interest ranged between 3.3 and 8.4deg. Largest differences were found in fast and circular pointing tasks, mainly in range of motion. Smallest differences for all 3D joint angles were observed in the flexion tasks. For fast finger tapping, the thumb/index amplitude showed a median difference of 15.8mm. Differences could be explained by skin movement artifacts caused by relative marker movements of the marker system, particularly during fast tasks; large movement accelerations and angular velocities which exceeded the range of the inertial sensors; and by differences in segment calibrations between systems. The PowerGlove is a system that can be of value to measure 3D hand and finger kinematics and positions in an ambulatory setting. The reported differences need to be taken into account when applying the system in studies understanding the hand function and quantifying hand motor symptoms in clinical practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number0164889
    JournalPLoS ONE
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2016

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