The use of walking aids is prevalent among older people and people with mobility impairment. Rollators are designed to support outdoor mobility and require the user to negotiate curbs and slopes in the urban environment. Despite the prevalence of rollators, analysis of their use outside of controlled environments has received relatively little attention. This Letter reports on an initial study to characterise rollator movement. An inertial measurement unit (IMU) was used to measure the motion of the rollator and analytical approaches were developed to extract features characterising the rollator movement, properties of the surface and push events. The analytics were tested in two situations: first, a healthy participant used a rollator in a laboratory using a motion capture system to obtain ground truth. Second, the IMU was used to measure the movement of a rollator being used by a user with multiple sclerosis on a flat surface, cross-slope, up and down slopes and up and down a step. The results showed that surface inclination and distance travelled measured by the IMU have close approximation to the results from ground truth; therefore, demonstrating the potential for IMU-derived metrics to characterise rollator movement and user's pushing style in the outdoor environment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Informatics
- Health Information Management