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Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1334; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18051334

Gait Shear and Plantar Pressure Monitoring: A Non-Invasive OFS Based Solution for e-Health Architectures

1
Instituto de Telecomunicações, Campus Universitário de Santiago, Aveiro 3810-193, Portugal
2
Department of Physics & I3N, University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, Aveiro 3810-193, Portugal
3
CSIC-UPM, Ctra. Campo Real, Arganda del Rey 28500, Madrid, Spain
4
Telecommunications Laboratory, Electrical Engineering Department, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Espírito Santo 29075-910, Brazil
5
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Instituto de Telecomunicações, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Lisbon 1049-001, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 12 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Gait, Posture, and Health Monitoring)
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Abstract

In an era of unprecedented progress in sensing technology and communication, health services are now able to closely monitor patients and elderly citizens without jeopardizing their daily routines through health applications on their mobile devices in what is known as e-Health. Within this field, we propose an optical fiber sensor (OFS) based system for the simultaneous monitoring of shear and plantar pressure during gait movement. These parameters are considered to be two key factors in gait analysis that can help in the early diagnosis of multiple anomalies, such as diabetic foot ulcerations or in physical rehabilitation scenarios. The proposed solution is a biaxial OFS based on two in-line fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs), which were inscribed in the same optical fiber and placed individually in two adjacent cavities, forming a small sensing cell. Such design presents a more compact and resilient solution with higher accuracy when compared to the existing electronic systems. The implementation of the proposed elements into an insole is also described, showcasing the compactness of the sensing cells, which can easily be integrated into a non-invasive mobile e-Health solution for continuous remote gait monitoring of patients and elder citizens. The reported results show that the proposed system outperforms existing solutions, in the sense that it is able to dynamically discriminate shear and plantar pressure during gait. View Full-Text
Keywords: gait analysis; e-Health application; physical rehabilitation; shear and plantar pressure sensor; biaxial optical fiber sensor; multiplexed fiber Bragg gratings gait analysis; e-Health application; physical rehabilitation; shear and plantar pressure sensor; biaxial optical fiber sensor; multiplexed fiber Bragg gratings
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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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Tavares, C.; Domingues, M.F.; Frizera-Neto, A.; Leite, T.; Leitão, C.; Alberto, N.; Marques, C.; Radwan, A.; Rocon, E.; André, P.; Antunes, P. Gait Shear and Plantar Pressure Monitoring: A Non-Invasive OFS Based Solution for e-Health Architectures. Sensors 2018, 18, 1334.

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