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Inertial wearables as pragmatic tools in dementia

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Dame Louise Robinson


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© 2019 Elsevier B.V. Dementia is a critically important issue due to its wide impact on health services as well as its personal and societal costs. Limitations exist for current dementia protocols, and there are calls to introduce modern technology that facilitates the addition of digital biomarkers to routine clinical practice. Wearable technology (wearables) are nearly ubiquitous in everyday life, gathering discrete and continuous digital data on habitual activities, but their utility in modern medicine remains low. Due to advances in data analytics, wearables are now commonly discussed as pragmatic tools to aid the diagnosis and treatment of a range of neurological disorders. Inertial sensor-based wearables are one such technology; they offer a low-cost approach to quantify routine movements that are fundamental to normal activities of daily living, most notably postural control and gait. Here, we provide a narrative review of how wearables are providing useful postural control and gait data to facilitate the capture of digital markers to aid dementia research. We outline the history of wearables, from their humble beginnings to their current use beyond the clinic, and explore their integration into modern systems, as well as the ongoing standardisation and regulatory efforts to integrate their use in clinical trials.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Godfrey A, Brodie M, van Schooten KS, Nouredanesh M, Stuart S, Robinson L

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Maturitas

Year: 2019

Volume: 127

Pages: 12-17

Print publication date: 01/09/2019

Online publication date: 24/05/2019

Acceptance date: 23/05/2019

ISSN (print): 0378-5122

ISSN (electronic): 1873-4111

Publisher: Elsevier Ireland Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2019.05.010