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Special Issue "Sensors Applied in Multimodal Systems—Selected Papers from the Second Ecuador Technical Chapters Meeting (IEEE-ETCM)"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Sergio Albiol-Pérez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Aragón Health Research Institute (IIS Aragón), Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
Interests: Multimodal Systems; Virtual Rehabilitation; Augmented Rehabilitation; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Neurological Disorders; Clinical Assessment
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Habib M. Fardoun
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Information systems department , King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Interests: Human Computer Interaction; Computer Engineering; Information and Communication (ICT) in Rehabilitation; Cloud Computing; Distributed User Interfaces; Technology Enhanced Learning
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. César A. Collazos
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Dr. Mónica Huerta
E-Mail
Co-Guest Editor
Universidad Politécnica Salesiana, Cuenca, Ecuador
Interests: Monitoring of Parkinson's disease; Body Area Networks; Wireless Sensor Networks and Telemedicine

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last few years, rehabilitation treatments in patients with neurological disorders have been combined with the use of multimodal systems. Customizable technology systems are a good complement in the rehabilitation process of motor disorders.

Sensor technologies, together with virtual environments in these therapeutic sessions, have shown great benefit in the improvements of motor and cognitive illnesses. The combination of a multi-disciplinary research lines composed of sensors, multimodal systems, medical systems, communication aids, and training products for rehabilitation can improve the healthcare of patients with motor and cognitive injuries.

Improvements using sensors technologies, together with adaptive design, based on virtual rehabilitation, in these types of pathologies can serve to enrich the quality of life and motivation of these patients. These types of personalized treatments are employed in the most recent processes today.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to invite authors to publish their latest novel solutions based on multimodal systems, together with sensors design, for the treatments of patients with motor and cognitive disorders, with contributions that include original research papers, review papers, as well as case reports. Topics of this Special Issue can include:

  • Sensor systems to track and analyze motor disorders.
  • Multimodal systems to analyze of kinematic and kinetic parameters.
  • Novel prototypes in health treatments for improving quality of life.
  • Wearable technologies for improving patient rehabilitation.
  • Healthcare solutions using virtual rehabilitation.
  • Models and algorithms to manage sensors systems in rehabilitation processes.
  • Virtual humans focused on neurological disorders.
  • Training technologies in neurodegenerative disorders.
  • Virtual cues in the rehabilitation process.

This Special Issue will select extended manuscripts according to the topics of the second Ecuador Technical Chapters Meeting (IEEE-ETCM), which will be held 16–20 October, 2017, in Salinas, Ecuador.

Dr. Sergio Albiol-Pérez
Dr. Mónica Huerta
Dr. César A. Collazos
Prof. Dr. Habib M. Fardoun
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Sensors
  • multimodal systems
  • virtual rehabilitation
  • augmented rehabilitation
  • neurodegenerative disorders
  • neurological disorders
  • clinical assessment

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
A Non-Invasive Medical Device for Parkinson’s Patients with Episodes of Freezing of Gait
Sensors 2019, 19(3), 737; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19030737 - 12 Feb 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
A critical symptom of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the occurrence of Freezing of Gait (FOG), an episodic disorder that causes frequent falls and consequential injuries in PD patients. There are various auditory, visual, tactile, and other types of stimulation interventions that can be [...] Read more.
A critical symptom of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the occurrence of Freezing of Gait (FOG), an episodic disorder that causes frequent falls and consequential injuries in PD patients. There are various auditory, visual, tactile, and other types of stimulation interventions that can be used to induce PD patients to escape FOG episodes. In this article, we describe a low cost wearable system for non-invasive gait monitoring and external delivery of superficial vibratory stimulation to the lower extremities triggered by FOG episodes. The intended purpose is to reduce the duration of the FOG episode, thus allowing prompt resumption of gait to prevent major injuries. The system, based on an Android mobile application, uses a tri-axial accelerometer device for gait data acquisition. Gathered data is processed via a discrete wavelet transform-based algorithm that precisely detects FOG episodes in real time. Detection activates external vibratory stimulation of the legs to reduce FOG time. The integration of detection and stimulation in one low cost device is the chief novel contribution of this work. We present analyses of sensitivity, specificity and effectiveness of the proposed system to validate its usefulness. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Giok the Alien: An AR-Based Integrated System for the Empowerment of Problem-Solving, Pragmatic, and Social Skills in Pre-School Children
Sensors 2018, 18(7), 2368; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18072368 - 21 Jul 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
The use of technology for educational purposes is a consolidated reality, and many new tools are constantly being devised and offered for use with both normally developing children and children with special needs. Nonetheless, a detailed analysis of the processes being stimulated and [...] Read more.
The use of technology for educational purposes is a consolidated reality, and many new tools are constantly being devised and offered for use with both normally developing children and children with special needs. Nonetheless, a detailed analysis of the processes being stimulated and of the goals being pursued is often lacking or absent. In this work we describe the design, development and preliminary testing of an integrated system which combines the use of smart devices, a physical cube, augmented reality (AR) technology, a smart TV, and a software application especially designed to stimulate cognitive and social functions in pre-school children. The system was tested with three groups of children (25 children in total) during kindergarten activities. The results show that the system is easy to understand, elicits high levels of participation and social interaction, favors strategic behaviors, and can be used by the children with limited need of instruction and support by the adult. The implications for empowerment in typically developing children and the possibilities for use with children who have specific impairments in social communication are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Design and Validation of an FPGA-Based Configurable Transcranial Doppler Neurofeedback System for Chronic Pain Patients
Sensors 2018, 18(7), 2278; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18072278 - 14 Jul 2018
Abstract
Neurofeedback is a self-regulation technique that can be applied to learn to voluntarily control cerebral activity in specific brain regions. In this work, a Transcranial Doppler-based configurable neurofeedback system is proposed and described. The hardware configuration is based on the Red Pitaya board, [...] Read more.
Neurofeedback is a self-regulation technique that can be applied to learn to voluntarily control cerebral activity in specific brain regions. In this work, a Transcranial Doppler-based configurable neurofeedback system is proposed and described. The hardware configuration is based on the Red Pitaya board, which gives great flexibility and processing power to the system. The parameter to be trained can be selected between several temporal, spectral, or complexity features from the cerebral blood flow velocity signal in different vessels. As previous studies have found alterations in these parameters in chronic pain patients, the system could be applied to help them to voluntarily control these parameters. Two protocols based on different temporal lengths of the training periods have been proposed and tested with six healthy subjects that were randomly assigned to one of the protocols at the beginning of the procedure. For the purposes of the testing, the trained parameter was the mean cerebral blood flow velocity in the aggregated data from the two anterior cerebral arteries. Results show that, using the proposed neurofeedback system, the two groups of healthy volunteers can learn to self-regulate a parameter from their brain activity in a reduced number of training sessions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
3D Analysis of Upper Limbs Motion during Rehabilitation Exercises Using the KinectTM Sensor: Development, Laboratory Validation and Clinical Application
Sensors 2018, 18(7), 2216; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18072216 - 10 Jul 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Optoelectronic devices are the gold standard for 3D evaluation in clinics, but due to the complexity of this kind of hardware and the lack of access for patients, affordable, transportable, and easy-to-use systems must be developed to be largely used in daily clinics. [...] Read more.
Optoelectronic devices are the gold standard for 3D evaluation in clinics, but due to the complexity of this kind of hardware and the lack of access for patients, affordable, transportable, and easy-to-use systems must be developed to be largely used in daily clinics. The KinectTM sensor has various advantages compared to optoelectronic devices, such as its price and transportability. However, it also has some limitations: (in)accuracy of the skeleton detection and tracking as well as the limited amount of available points, which makes 3D evaluation impossible. To overcome these limitations, a novel method has been developed to perform 3D evaluation of the upper limbs. This system is coupled to rehabilitation exercises, allowing functional evaluation while performing physical rehabilitation. To validate this new approach, a two-step method was used. The first step was a laboratory validation where the results obtained with the KinectTM were compared with the results obtained with an optoelectronic device; 40 healthy young adults participated in this first part. The second step was to determine the clinical relevance of this kind of measurement. Results of the healthy subjects were compared with a group of 22 elderly adults and a group of 10 chronic stroke patients to determine if different patterns could be observed. The new methodology and the different steps of the validations are presented in this paper. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Designing Interactive Experiences for Children with Cochlear Implant
Sensors 2018, 18(7), 2154; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18072154 - 04 Jul 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have grown exponentially in the education context and the use of digital products by children is increasing. As a result, teachers are taking advantage of ICTs to include mobile devices such as Tablets or Smartphones inside the classroom [...] Read more.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have grown exponentially in the education context and the use of digital products by children is increasing. As a result, teachers are taking advantage of ICTs to include mobile devices such as Tablets or Smartphones inside the classroom as playful support material to motivate children during their learning. Designing an interactive experience for a child with a special need such as a hearing impairment is a great challenge. In this article, two interactive systems are depicted, using a non-traditional interaction, by the following stages: analysis, design and implementation, with the participation of children with cochlear implant in the Institute of Blind and Deaf Children of Valle del Cauca, Colombia and the ASPAS Institute, Mallorca, Spain, who evaluated both interactive systems, PHONOMAGIC and CASETO. Positive results were obtained, showing that the use of real objects can greatly influence the environment in which children interact with the game, allowing them to explore and manipulate the objects supporting their teaching-learning processes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Smart Web-Based Platform to Support Physical Rehabilitation
Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1344; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18051344 - 26 Apr 2018
Cited by 13
Abstract
The enhancement of ubiquitous and pervasive computing brings new perspectives in medical rehabilitation. In that sense, the present study proposes a smart, web-based platform to promote the reeducation of patients after hip replacement surgery. This project focuses on two fundamental aspects in the [...] Read more.
The enhancement of ubiquitous and pervasive computing brings new perspectives in medical rehabilitation. In that sense, the present study proposes a smart, web-based platform to promote the reeducation of patients after hip replacement surgery. This project focuses on two fundamental aspects in the development of a suitable tele-rehabilitation application, which are: (i) being based on an affordable technology, and (ii) providing the patients with a real-time assessment of the correctness of their movements. A probabilistic approach based on the development and training of ten Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) is used to discriminate in real time the main faults in the execution of the therapeutic exercises. Two experiments are designed to evaluate the precision of the algorithm for classifying movements performed in the laboratory and clinical settings, respectively. A comparative analysis of the data shows that the models are as reliable as the physiotherapists to discriminate and identify the motion errors. The results are discussed in terms of the required setup for a successful application in the field and further implementations to improve the accuracy and usability of the system. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Scoping Review of Systems to Train Psychomotor Skills in Hearing Impaired Children
Sensors 2018, 18(8), 2546; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18082546 - 03 Aug 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Objectives: The aim of this work is to provide a scoping review to compile and classify the systems helping train and enhance psychomotor skills in hearing impaired (HI) children. Methods: Based on an exhaustive review on psychomotor deficits in HI children, the procedure [...] Read more.
Objectives: The aim of this work is to provide a scoping review to compile and classify the systems helping train and enhance psychomotor skills in hearing impaired (HI) children. Methods: Based on an exhaustive review on psychomotor deficits in HI children, the procedure used to carry out a scoping review was: select keywords and identify synonyms, select databases and prepare the queries using keywords, analyze the quality of the works found using the PEDro Scale, classify the works based on psychomotor competences, analyze the interactive systems (e.g., sensors), and the achieved results. Results: Thirteen works were found. These works used a variety of sensors and input devices such as cameras, contact sensors, touch screens, mouse and keyboard, tangible objects, haptic and virtual reality (VR) devices. Conclusions: From the research it was possible to contextualize the deficits and psychomotor problems of HI children that prevent their normal development. Additionally, from the analysis of different proposals of interactive systems addressed to this population, it was possible to establish the current state of the use of different technologies and how they contribute to psychomotor rehabilitation. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Effectiveness of Virtual Reality for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Evidence-Based Systematic Review
Sensors 2018, 18(8), 2486; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18082486 - 01 Aug 2018
Cited by 11
Abstract
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disease that is specially characterized by impairments in social communication and social skills. ASD has a high prevalence in children, affecting 1 in 160 subjects. Virtual reality (VR) has emerged as an effective tool for intervention [...] Read more.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disease that is specially characterized by impairments in social communication and social skills. ASD has a high prevalence in children, affecting 1 in 160 subjects. Virtual reality (VR) has emerged as an effective tool for intervention in the health field. Different recent papers have reviewed the VR-based treatments in ASD, but they have an important limitation because they only use clinical databases and do not include important technical indexes such as the Web of Science index or the Scimago Journal & Country Rank. To our knowledge, this is the first contribution that has carried out an evidence-based systematic review including both clinical and technical databases about the effectiveness of VR-based intervention in ASD. The initial search identified a total of 450 records. After the exclusion of the papers that are not studies, duplicated articles, and the screening of the abstract and full text, 31 articles met the PICO (Population, Intervention, Comparison and Outcomes) criteria and were selected for analysis. The studies examined suggest moderate evidence about the effectiveness of VR-based treatments in ASD. VR can add many advantages to the treatment of ASD symptomatology, but it is necessary to develop consistent validations in future studies to state that VR can effectively complement the traditional treatments. Full article
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