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Special Issue "Wearable Devices: Applications in Older Adults"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Jennifer A. Schrack

Guest Editor
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, United States

Special Issue Information

Wearable smart devices provide new opportunities for digital healthcare. Health wearables have the advantage of providing various new healthcare services. The number of mobile device users is expected to reach about 70% of the world population by 2020. Rapid advances in mobile technology have made various products and services available in healthcare, education, entertainment, sport, and business. Particularly in the wake of the paradigm shift from clinical care to preventive care, wearable devices are expected to provide new value in the healthcare industry. While companies are developing game-changing devices for various populations, one of the most critical populations to examine is the older adult population, who want to age well and remain in their own home. Wearables offer the opportunity to help monitor the care of older adults and contribute to a feeling of safety in their own home.

This Special Issue focuses on new approaches in the area of wearable sensor devices and technology applications for older adults. We welcome submissions spanning all aspects of the development and application of wearable smart devices. Both reviews and original papers are welcome.

Dr. Jennifer A. Schrack
Guest Editor

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 2200 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

  • Wearable sensors/devices
  • Wearable computing
  • Smart textiles
  • Flexible/stretchable electronics
  • Implantable devices
  • Health wearables
  • In home monitoring
  • In home sensors

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Diurnal Physical Activity Patterns across Ages in a Large UK Based Cohort: The UK Biobank Study
Sensors 2021, 21(4), 1545; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21041545 - 23 Feb 2021
Abstract
The ability of individuals to engage in physical activity is a critical component of overall health and quality of life. However, there is a natural decline in physical activity associated with the aging process. Establishing normative trends of physical activity in aging populations [...] Read more.
The ability of individuals to engage in physical activity is a critical component of overall health and quality of life. However, there is a natural decline in physical activity associated with the aging process. Establishing normative trends of physical activity in aging populations is essential to developing public health guidelines and informing clinical perspectives regarding individuals’ levels of physical activity. Beyond overall quantity of physical activity, patterns regarding the timing of activity provide additional insights into latent health status. Wearable accelerometers, paired with statistical methods from functional data analysis, provide the means to estimate diurnal patterns in physical activity. To date, these methods have been only applied to study aging trends in populations based in the United States. Here, we apply curve registration and functional regression to 24 h activity profiles for 88,793 men (N = 39,255) and women (N = 49,538) ages 42–78 from the UK Biobank accelerometer study to understand how physical activity patterns vary across ages and by gender. Our analysis finds that daily patterns in both the volume of physical activity and probability of being active change with age, and that there are marked gender differences in these trends. This work represents the largest-ever population analyzed using tools of this kind, and suggest that aging trends in physical activity are reproducible in different populations across countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Devices: Applications in Older Adults)
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Open AccessArticle
Quantifying the Varying Predictive Value of Physical Activity Measures Obtained from Wearable Accelerometers on All-Cause Mortality over Short to Medium Time Horizons in NHANES 2003–2006
Sensors 2021, 21(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21010004 - 22 Dec 2020
Abstract
Physical activity measures derived from wearable accelerometers have been shown to be highly predictive of all-cause mortality. Prediction models based on traditional risk factors and accelerometry-derived physical activity measures are developed for five time horizons. The data set contains 2978 study participants between [...] Read more.
Physical activity measures derived from wearable accelerometers have been shown to be highly predictive of all-cause mortality. Prediction models based on traditional risk factors and accelerometry-derived physical activity measures are developed for five time horizons. The data set contains 2978 study participants between 50 and 85 years old with an average of 13.08 years of follow-up in the NHANES 2003–2004 and 2005–2006. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were fit separately for five datasets for one- to five-year all-cause mortality as outcome (number of events 46, 94, 155, 218, and 297, respectively). In univariate models the total activity count (TAC) was ranked first in all five horizons (AUC between 0.831 and 0.774) while the active to sedentary transition probability (ASTP) was ranked second for one- to four-year mortality models and fourth for the five-year all-cause mortality model (AUC between 0.825 and 0.735). In multivariate models age and ASTP were significant in all one- to five-year all-cause mortality prediction models. Physical activity measures are consistently among the top predictors, even after adjusting for demographic and lifestyle variables. Physical activity measures are strong stand-alone predictors and substantially improve the prediction performance of models based on traditional risk factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Devices: Applications in Older Adults)
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Open AccessArticle
Iterative Learning Control for a Soft Exoskeleton with Hip and Knee Joint Assistance
Sensors 2020, 20(15), 4333; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20154333 - 04 Aug 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Walking on different terrains leads to different biomechanics, which motivates the development of exoskeletons for assisting on walking according to the type of a terrain. The design of a lightweight soft exoskeleton that simultaneously assists multiple joints in the lower limb is presented [...] Read more.
Walking on different terrains leads to different biomechanics, which motivates the development of exoskeletons for assisting on walking according to the type of a terrain. The design of a lightweight soft exoskeleton that simultaneously assists multiple joints in the lower limb is presented in this paper. It is used to assist both hip and knee joints in a single system, the assistance force is directly applied to the hip joint flexion and the knee joint extension, while indirectly to the hip extension also. Based on the biological torque of human walking at three different slopes, a novel strategy is developed to improve the performance of assistance. A parameter optimal iterative learning control (POILC) method is introduced to reduce the error generated due to the difference between the wearing position and the biological features of the different wearers. In order to obtain the metabolic rate, three subjects walked on a treadmill, for 10 min on each terrain, at a speed of 4 km/h under both conditions of wearing and not wearing the soft exoskeleton. Results showed that the metabolic rate was decreased with the increasing slope of the terrain. The reductions in the net metabolic rate in the experiments on the downhill, flat ground, and uphill were, respectively, 9.86%, 12.48%, and 22.08% compared to the condition of not wearing the soft exoskeleton, where their corresponding absolute values were 0.28 W/kg, 0.72 W/kg, and 1.60 W/kg. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Devices: Applications in Older Adults)
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Open AccessArticle
Quantifying Spatiotemporal Gait Parameters with HoloLens in Healthy Adults and People with Parkinson’s Disease: Test-Retest Reliability, Concurrent Validity, and Face Validity
Sensors 2020, 20(11), 3216; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20113216 - 05 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Microsoft’s HoloLens, a mixed-reality headset, provides, besides holograms, rich position data of the head, which can be used to quantify what the wearer is doing (e.g., walking) and to parameterize such acts (e.g., speed). The aim of the current study is to determine [...] Read more.
Microsoft’s HoloLens, a mixed-reality headset, provides, besides holograms, rich position data of the head, which can be used to quantify what the wearer is doing (e.g., walking) and to parameterize such acts (e.g., speed). The aim of the current study is to determine test-retest reliability, concurrent validity, and face validity of HoloLens 1 for quantifying spatiotemporal gait parameters. This was done in a group of 23 healthy young adults (mean age 21 years) walking at slow, comfortable, and fast speeds, as well as in a group of 24 people with Parkinson’s disease (mean age 67 years) walking at comfortable speed. Walking was concurrently measured with HoloLens 1 and a previously validated markerless reference motion-registration system. We comprehensively evaluated HoloLens 1 for parameterizing walking (i.e., walking speed, step length and cadence) in terms of test-retest reliability (i.e., consistency over repetitions) and concurrent validity (i.e., between-systems agreement), using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and Bland–Altman’s bias and limits of agreement. Test-retest reliability and between-systems agreement were excellent for walking speed (ICC ≥ 0.861), step length (ICC ≥ 0.884), and cadence (ICC ≥ 0.765), with narrower between-systems than over-repetitions limits of agreement. Face validity was demonstrated with significantly different walking speeds, step lengths and cadences over walking-speed conditions. To conclude, walking speed, step length, and cadence can be reliably and validly quantified from the position data of the wearable HoloLens 1 measurement system, not only for a broad range of speeds in healthy young adults, but also for self-selected comfortable speed in people with Parkinson’s disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Devices: Applications in Older Adults)
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Open AccessArticle
Gait Variability Using Waist- and Ankle-Worn Inertial Measurement Units in Healthy Older Adults
Sensors 2020, 20(10), 2858; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20102858 - 18 May 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Gait variability observed in step duration is predictive of impending adverse health outcomes among apparently healthy older adults and could potentially be evaluated using wearable sensors (inertial measurement units, IMU). The purpose of the present study was to establish the reliability and concurrent [...] Read more.
Gait variability observed in step duration is predictive of impending adverse health outcomes among apparently healthy older adults and could potentially be evaluated using wearable sensors (inertial measurement units, IMU). The purpose of the present study was to establish the reliability and concurrent validity of gait variability and complexity evaluated with a waist and an ankle-worn IMU. Seventeen women (age 74.8 (SD 44) years) and 10 men (73.7 (4.1) years) attended two laboratory measurement sessions a week apart. Their stride duration variability was concurrently evaluated based on a continuous 3 min walk using a force plate and a waist- and an ankle-worn IMU. Their gait complexity (multiscale sample entropy) was evaluated from the waist-worn IMU. The force plate indicated excellent stride duration variability reliability (intra-class correlation coefficient, ICC = 0.90), whereas fair to good reliability (ICC = 0.47 to 0.66) was observed from the IMUs. The IMUs exhibited poor to excellent concurrent validity in stride duration variability compared to the force plate (ICC = 0.22 to 0.93). A good to excellent reliability was observed for gait complexity in most coarseness scales (ICC = 0.60 to 0.82). A reasonable congruence with the force plate-measured stride duration variability was observed on many coarseness scales (correlation coefficient = 0.38 to 0.83). In conclusion, waist-worn IMU entropy estimates may provide a feasible indicator of gait variability among community-dwelling ambulatory older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Devices: Applications in Older Adults)
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