A Novel MEMS Accelerometer System for the Measurement and Spectral Analysis of Postural Sway

S. Badjou, R. Villanucci, P. Kasi, D. Arruda, and C. Nguyen (USA)


Biomechanics, postural control, MEMS, accelerometer, modeling


The study of postural sway is of great interest in clinical medicine. A novel accurate, portable, low-cost, and non invasive system to measure postural sway was developed and successfully tested. The system involves a two-axis 1.5 g MEMS accelerometer that measures the 3-D motion of the body center of gravity and associated hardware and signal processing software. The system measures and calculates all biomechanical parameters used to quantify postural sway as well as the frequency spectrum analysis of sway. This system is compared to standard devices, all of which measure only the 2-D projection of postural sway of the body center of gravity. It is shown to be more accurate and more portable and cost-effective. The results of measurements on 19 healthy subjects and comparisons to values obtained from the force platform and ultrasonic methods, as well as additional possible applications in biomechanics are discussed. The proposed system allows, for the first time, the measurement of the more accurate 3 D postural sway.

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