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In IEEE journal of biomedical and health informatics

Falls are a significant problem for persons with multiple sclerosis (PwMS). Yet fall prevention interventions are not often prescribed until after a fall has been reported to a healthcare provider. While still nascent, objective fall risk assessments could help in prescribing preventative interventions. To this end, retrospective fall status classification commonly serves as an intermediate step in developing prospective fall risk assessments. Previous research has identified measures of gait biomechanics that differ between PwMS who have fallen and those who have not, but these biomechanical indices have not yet been leveraged to detect PwMS who have fallen. Moreover, they require the use of laboratory-based measurement technologies, which prevent clinical deployment. Here we demonstrate that a bidirectional long short-term (BiLSTM) memory deep neural network was able to identify PwMS who have recently fallen with good performance (AUC of 0.88) based on accelerometer data recorded from two wearable sensors during a one-minute walking task. These results provide substantial improvements over machine learning models trained on spatiotemporal gait parameters (21% improvement in AUC), statistical features from the wearable sensor data (16%), and patient-reported (19%) and neurologist-administered (24%) measures in this sample. The success and simplicity (two wearable sensors, only one-minute of walking) of this approach indicates the promise of inexpensive wearable sensors for capturing fall risk in PwMS.

Meyer Brett M, Tulipani Lindsey J, Gurchiek Reed D, Allen Dakota A, Adamowicz Lukas, Larie Dale, Solomon Andrew J, Cheney Nick, McGinnis Ryan