Development of Wearable System for Quantitative Assessment of Balance Control
Falling is a multi-factor problem that easily occurs in the elderly, about 60% of which is caused by a variety of reasons. The environmental factors account for about 25-45% of the causes of falling in the elderly, and most of the rest are due to lack of personal balance control.Falling can cause long-term disabilities in the elderly and lower quality of life, and it will pay a large sum of medical expenses and human resources. Therefore, this main purpose of this study is to developa wearable system for assessment of balance control ability. The system consists of a dynamic measurement unit (DMU) that can describe the body center of gravity trajectory, which integrates three-axis gyro meter, three-axis accelerometer, and magnetometer in order to measure the dynamic track. In addition to being a good indicator of high-risk falling, the results of this assessment can also be used as an indicator of functional deterioration or improvement in treatment during rehabilitation. Doctors can decide on the treatment plan for the elderly according to the evaluation information provided by the system and provide the most comprehensive medical care for the elderly. The system can also detect the occurrence of falling at home, then notifies the family for emergency treatment. Quantitative data were collected on the balance control ability of 8 stroke patients, which received rehabilitation treatment at the Chung Shan Medical University Hospital. We used the Barthel Index (including transfers, mobility on level surfaces, and stairs) to detect changes in the trajectory of the subject's center of gravity. The results showed that the tri-axial angle of rotation of the body's center of gravity can be used as a basis for assessing balance control.
Index Terms - Falling, Balance Control Ability, Assessment Scale, Evaluation Index.