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In IEEE transactions on neural systems and rehabilitation engineering : a publication of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society ; h5-index 0.0

Wearable sensors have been proposed as alternatives to traditional laboratory equipment for low-cost and portable real-time gait analysis in unconstrained environments. However, the moderate accuracy of these systems currently limits their widespread use. In this paper, we show that support vector regression (SVR) models can be used to extract accurate estimates of fundamental gait parameters (i.e., stride length, velocity and foot clearance), from custom-engineered instrumented insoles (SportSole) during walking and running tasks. Additionally, these learning-based models are robust to inter-subject variability, thereby making it unnecessary to collect subject-specific training data. Gait analysis was performed in N=14 healthy subjects during two separate sessions, each including 6-minute bouts of treadmill walking and running at different speeds (i.e., 85% and 11% of each subject's preferred speed). Gait metrics were simultaneously measured with the instrumented insoles and with reference laboratory equipment. SVR models yielded excellent intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) in all the gait parameters analyzed. Percentage mean absolute errors (MAE%) in stride length, velocity, and foot clearance obtained with SVR models were 1.37%±0.49%, 1.23%±0.27%, and 2.08%±0.72% for walking, 2.59%±0.64%, 2.91%±0.85%, and 5.13%±1.52% for running, respectively. These findings provide evidence that machine learning regression is a promising new approach to improve the accuracy of wearable sensors for gait analysis.

Zhang Huanghe, Guo Yi, Zanotto Damiano