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Sensors 2017, 17(3), 619; doi:10.3390/s17030619

Design and Validation of a Low-Cost Portable Device to Quantify Postural Stability

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766, USA
This article is an expanded version of an earlier conference paper: Zhu, Y.; Thomas, E. Design and testing of a portable concussion assessment device. In Proceedings of the ASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Montreal, QU, Canada, 14–20 November 2014.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M.N. Passaro
Received: 3 February 2017 / Revised: 16 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 18 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3129 KB, uploaded 18 March 2017]   |  

Abstract

Measurement of the displacement of the center-of-pressure (COP) is an important tool used in biomechanics to assess postural stability and human balance. The goal of this research was to design and validate a low-cost portable device that can offer a quick indication of the state of postural stability and human balance related conditions. Approximate entropy (ApEn) values reflecting the amount of irregularity hiding in COP oscillations were used to calculate the index. The prototype adopted a portable design using the measurements of the load cells located at the four corners of a low-cost force platform. The test subject was asked to stand on the device in a quiet, normal, upright stance for 30 s with eyes open and subsequently for 30 s with eyes closed. Based on the COP displacement signals, the ApEn values were calculated. The results indicated that the prototype device was capable of capturing the increase in regularity of postural control in the visual-deprivation conditions. It was also able to decipher the subtle postural control differences along anterior–posterior and medial–lateral directions. The data analysis demonstrated that the prototype would enable the quantification of postural stability and thus provide a low-cost portable device to assess many conditions related to postural stability and human balance such as aging and pathologies. View Full-Text
Keywords: human balance; postural stability; approximate entropy (ApEn); center-of-pressure (COP); portable device; low-cost assessment device human balance; postural stability; approximate entropy (ApEn); center-of-pressure (COP); portable device; low-cost assessment device
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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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Zhu, Y. Design and Validation of a Low-Cost Portable Device to Quantify Postural Stability. Sensors 2017, 17, 619.

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