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Title: The design and development of a wearable prototype device to monitor movement of the lumbar spine and pelvis
Author: Chhikara, Aakanksha
ISNI:       0000 0004 2702 8193
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2011
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Chronic Low Back Pain (CLBP) is a leading cause of disability with high economic costs and severe psychological and social consequences. Difficulties in the management of Low Back Pain (LBP) include: credibility of self-reported health and function surveys, accurate patient evaluation and identifying reassessment time. The most critical issue is the assessment of LBP severity at a single point of time during clinic visits, rather than through continuous monitoring at home or in the workplace. This thesis describes the selection of parameters indicative of LBP impact on daily function followed by the design, development, testing, validation, and evaluation of a wearable prototype device that monitors the movement of the lumbar spine and pelvis simultaneously, and quantifies the motion characteristics. I identified three areas of disability and measurable parameters, proposed suitable sensing technologies and a placement map. Focussing on monitoring movement of the lumbar spine and pelvis, I investigated the use of inertial sensor technology and a miniaturised, cost effective, wireless sensor platform. On confirming reliability and reproducibility of the sensor signals for different movements, customised sensor boards, Graphical User Interface (GUI), application software and analytical procedures were developed to enable data acquisition from two networked sensor nodes. After investigating possible wearable strategies, I designed a unique sensor case and fixation method. Ethics approval was available only for healthy participants and I conducted a Pilot Study with the developed prototypes on 16 volunteers performing movements affected in LBP patients. The intra and inter-subject analyses of 11 participants demonstrated that the developed sensor prototypes correctly monitor the movements, measure consistent angular velocities and range of motion within a participant, detect similarities and differences between participants, and reveal the lumbar and pelvic contribution during movements. The two wireless sensors measure lumbo-pelvic motion simultaneously. The results are very promising and the sensor prototype can be tested with CLBP patients.
Supervisor: Bello, Fernando ; Rice, Andrew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available