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Estimation and Validation of Temporal Gait Features using a Markerless 2D Video System

Verlekar, TTV ; Vroey, H. ; Claeys, K. ; Hallez, H. ; Soares, L. D. ; Correia, P.L.

Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine Vol. 175, Nº NA, pp. 45 - 51, July, 2019.

ISSN (print): 0169-2607
ISSN (online): 1872-7565

Scimago Journal Ranking: 0,95 (in 2019)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1016/j.cmpb.2019.04.002

Background and objective
Estimation of temporal gait features, such as stance time, swing time and gait cycle time, can be used for clinical evaluations of various patient groups having gait pathologies, such as Parkinson's diseases, neuropathy, hemiplegia and diplegia. Most clinical laboratories employ an optoelectronic motion capture system to acquire such features. However, the operation of these systems requires specially trained operators, a controlled environment and attaching reflective markers to the patient's body. To allow the estimation of the same features in a daily life setting, this paper presents a novel vision based system whose operation does not require the presence of skilled technicians or markers and uses a single 2D camera.

The proposed system takes as input a 2D video, computes the silhouettes of the walking person, and then estimates key biomedical gait indicators, such as the initial foot contact with the ground and the toe off instants, from which several other temporal gait features can be derived.

The proposed system is tested on two datasets: (i) a public gait dataset made available by CASIA, which contains 20 users, with 4 sequences per user; and (ii) a dataset acquired simultaneously by a marker-based optoelectronic motion capture system and a simple 2D video camera, containing 10 users, with 5 sequences per user. For the CASIA gait dataset A the relevant temporal biomedical gait indicators were manually annotated, and the proposed automated video analysis system achieved an accuracy of 99% on their identification. It was able to obtain accurate estimations even on segmented silhouettes where, the state-of-the-art markerless 2D video based systems fail. For the second database, the temporal features obtained by the proposed system achieved an average intra-class correlation coefficient of 0.86, when compared to the ``gold standard” optoelectronic motion capture system.

The proposed markerless 2D video based system can be used to evaluate patients’ gait without requiring the usage of complex laboratory settings and without the need for physical attachment of sensors/markers to the patients. The good accuracy of the results obtained suggests that the proposed system can be used as an alternative to the optoelectronic motion capture system in non-laboratory environments, which can be enable more regular clinical evaluations.