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In IEEE journal of biomedical and health informatics ; h5-index 0.0

Some wearable solutions exploiting on-body acceleration sensors have been proposed to recognize Freezing of Gait (FoG) in people affected by Parkinson Disease (PD). Once a FoG event is detected, these systems generate a sequence of rhythmic stimuli to allow the patient restarting the march. While these solutions are effective in detecting FoG events, they are unable to predict FoG to prevent its occurrence. This paper fills in the gap by presenting a machine learning-based approach that classifies accelerometer data from PD patients, recognizing a pre-FOG phase to further anticipate FoG occurrence in advance. Gait was monitored by three tri-axial accelerometer sensors worn on the back, hip and ankle. Gait features were then extracted from the accelerometer's raw data through data windowing and non-linear dimensionality reduction. A k-nearest neighbor algorithm (k-NN) was used to classify gait in three classes of events: pre-FoG, no-FoG and FoG. The accuracy of the proposed solution was compared to state of-the-art approaches. Our study showed that: (i) we achieved performances overcoming the state-of-the-art approaches in terms of FoG detection, (ii) we were able, for the very first time in the literature, to predict FoG by identifying the pre-FoG events with an average sensitivity and specificity of, respectively, 94.1% and 97.1%, and (iii) our algorithm can be executed on resource-constrained devices. Future applications include the implementation on a mobile device, and the administration of rhythmic stimuli by a wearable device to help the patient overcome the FoG.

Demrozi Florenc, Bacchin Ruggero, Tamburin Stefano, Cristani Marco, Pravadelli Graziano