A Wireless Body Sensor Platform to Detect Progressive Deterioration in Musculoskeletal Systems
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Recent developments in technology have helped to reduce the physical size and weight of devices and opened up new opportunities for their application in delivering unobtrusive healthcare services. In particular, kinetic and kinematic systems, that use sensors attached to the body, are currently being used to measure and understand many different aspects of human gait and behaviour. This has been particularly useful in treating stroke patients, rehabilitation, and understanding sedentary behaviour. Nonetheless, many of these systems are only capable of providing information about rudimentary movement rather than data on the mechanics of motion itself (tendons, ligaments and so on). Therefore, the information required by healthcare professionals to treat diseases like progressive deterioration of the musculoskeletal system, i.e. arthritis, cannot be determined. This paper discusses some of the technologies currently used to assess movement and posits a novel approach based on strain gauge technology to measure the constituent parts of a joint and its movement. In this way, the mechanics of motion can be studied and used to help detect and treat musculoskeletal diseases. A case study is presented to demonstrate the applicability of our approach.