This prospective preliminary study describes the use of commercially available wearable inertial sensors (Mobility LabTM) in assessing the functional ability of individuals with vestibular disorders. Traditionally the Romberg’s, Tandem Walking and Fukuda’s Stepping tests were used to clinically evaluate individuals with balance disorders. According to the study authors, these tests can be inaccurate and non-reproducible, while laboratory-based common tests like the electronystagmography, videonystagmography and computerised dynamic posturography can be cumbersome and intrusive. The Timed Up and Go (TUG) and Postural Sway tests are more objective and can be reproduced and are therefore more useful for the functional assessment of patients. These authors used the commercial wearable system to evaluate instrumented TUG (iTUG) and instrumented Sway (iSway) parameters and to classify patients with balance disorders who were likely to fall. The study results showed that although the wearable sensors were user-friendly, non-intrusive and provided reliable information about the patient’s functional ability, their parameters currently are unable to provide statistically significant information to classify patients. Future studies with these wearable sensors will be likely to help us classify vestibular disorders and predict falls.

Reliability of inertial sensors in the assessment of patients with vestibular disorders: a feasibility study.
Sankarpandi SK, Baldwin AJ, Ray J, Mazza C.
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Gauri Mankekar

Department of Otolaryngology-Head Neck Surgery, Louisiana State University Shreveport, Louisiana, USA.

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