Coherence and reliability of a wearable inertial measurement unit for measuring postural sway

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OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to test the coherence of a wearable device, an inertial measurement unit (IMU) against the gold standard; also, to test the intra-trial reliability. This study has a cross-sectional design, where measurement of postural sway in the medio-lateral and anterior-posterior directions was performed simultaneously on a force plate and with a IMU called the Snubblometer ("snubbla" is stumble in Swedish). Thirty-two healthy volunteers participated in the tests.

RESULTS: The coherence between the IMU and the force plate was 0.84 (strong) in the medio-lateral direction with eyes open (EO) and 0.88 (strong) with eyes closed (EC). The ICC for intra-trial reliability for the IMU varied between 0.50 and 0.67 (moderate to good) with a CV between 17.8 and 22.1% and ICC varied between 0.75 and 0.86 (good) for inter-trial reliability, with an SEM of 0.98 to 1.96 mm/s. We have demonstrated that the IMU was both reliable and highly coherent with golden standard, although the two assessment methods were not interchangeable. The ability to move the balance lab out into real life in the form of a wearable device will provide opportunities to perform research that has not been possible before.

Original languageEnglish
Article number201
Pages (from-to)1-5
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr 2

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Other Health Sciences
  • Physiotherapy


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