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Sensors 2016, 16(4), 434; doi:10.3390/s16040434

Balance Improvement Effects of Biofeedback Systems with State-of-the-Art Wearable Sensors: A Systematic Review

1
Interdisciplinary Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
2
Rehabilitation Engineering Research Institute, China Rehabilitation Research Center, Beijing 100068, China
3
Li Ning Sports Science Research Center, Beijing 101111, China
4
Institute of Active Ageing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 31 January 2016 / Revised: 19 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 25 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [807 KB, uploaded 25 March 2016]   |  

Abstract

Falls and fall-induced injuries are major global public health problems. Balance and gait disorders have been the second leading cause of falls. Inertial motion sensors and force sensors have been widely used to monitor both static and dynamic balance performance. Based on the detected performance, instant visual, auditory, electrotactile and vibrotactile biofeedback could be provided to augment the somatosensory input and enhance balance control. This review aims to synthesize the research examining the effect of biofeedback systems, with wearable inertial motion sensors and force sensors, on balance performance. Randomized and non-randomized clinical trials were included in this review. All studies were evaluated based on the methodological quality. Sample characteristics, device design and study characteristics were summarized. Most previous studies suggested that biofeedback devices were effective in enhancing static and dynamic balance in healthy young and older adults, and patients with balance and gait disorders. Attention should be paid to the choice of appropriate types of sensors and biofeedback for different intended purposes. Maximizing the computing capacity of the micro-processer, while minimizing the size of the electronic components, appears to be the future direction of optimizing the devices. Wearable balance-improving devices have their potential of serving as balance aids in daily life, which can be used indoors and outdoors. View Full-Text
Keywords: falls; wearable sensors; balance; inertial motion sensors; force sensors; real-time biofeedback; sensory augmentation falls; wearable sensors; balance; inertial motion sensors; force sensors; real-time biofeedback; sensory augmentation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ma, C.Z.-H.; Wong, D.W.-C.; Lam, W.K.; Wan, A.H.-P.; Lee, W.C.-C. Balance Improvement Effects of Biofeedback Systems with State-of-the-Art Wearable Sensors: A Systematic Review. Sensors 2016, 16, 434.

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