Gait analysis for therapy regimen prescription and monitoring requires patients to physically access clinics with specialized equipment. The timely availability of such infrastructure at the right frequency is especially important for small children. Besides being very costly, this is a challenge for many children living in rural areas.
We developed a low-cost, portable, and automated approach for in-home gait analysis, based on the Microsoft Kinect.
Following the West Virginia University Institutional Review Board approval, 25 child subjects (15 females and 10 males) were recruited to participe in a data collection study. Those were healthy children with no known gait abnormalities. The setup of the GAITRite and two Kinect sensors is depicted in the following figure:
A sample from our dataset:
A robust and efficient method for extracting gait parameters is introduced, which copes with the high variability of noisy Kinect skeleton tracking data experienced across the population of young children. This is achieved by temporally segmenting the data with an approach based on coupling a probabilistic matching of stride template models, learned offline, with the estimation of their global and local temporal scaling. A preliminary study conducted on healthy children between 2 and 4 years of age is performed to analyze the accuracy, precision, repeatability, and concurrent validity of the proposed method against the GAITRite when measuring several spatial and temporal children’s gait parameters.
The method has excellent accuracy and good precision, with segmenting temporal sequences of body joint locations into stride and step cycles. Also, the spatial and temporal gait parameters, estimated automatically, exhibit good concurrent validity with those provided by the GAITRite, as well as very good repeatability. In particular, on a range of nine gait parameters, the relative and absolute agreements were found to be good and excellent, and the overall agreements were found to be good and moderate.