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We investigated three methods for estimating centre of pressure excursions, as measured using a portable pressure sensor matrix, in order to deploy similar technology into the homes of older adults for longitudinal monitoring of postural control and falls risk. We explored the utility of these three methods as markers of falls risk in a cohort of 120 community dwelling older adults with and without a history of falls (65 fallers, 55 non-fallers). A number of standard quantitative balance parameters were derived using each centre of pressure estimation method. Rank sum tests were used to test for significant differences between fallers and non-fallers while intra-class correlation coefficients were also calculated to determine the reliability of each method. A method based on estimating the changes in the magnitude of pressure exerted on the pressure sensor matrix was found to be the most reliable and discriminative. Our future work will implement this method for home-based balance measurement.


McGrath D, Doheny EP, Walsh L, McKeown D, Cunningham C, Crosby L, Kenny RA, Stergiou N, Caulfield B, Greene BR. (2012) Taking balance measurement out of the laboratory and into the home: discriminatory capability of novel centre of pressure measurement in fallers and non-fallers. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 3296-9. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2012.6346669.

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Conference Proceedings of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society

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Biomechanics Commons