Physical rehabilitation often involves using expensive, over-engineered equipment that does its job well but is often difficult to afford. It’s one reason the overall cost of rehab can be steep, as buying and maintaining pricey equipment can quickly add up. Some of the more advanced systems for analyzing people’s motion involve multiple cameras that track how the arms, legs, and every other part of the body move in relation to each other. These can be tens of thousands of dollars per room, which means you’re often just better off hiring another rehab specialist. Researchers at University of Missouri have developed a body motion analysis system that uses a Microsoft Kinect 2.0 depth-sensing camera and a laptop that analyzes the incoming data.
The team compared the performance of their tinkered-together body analysis system versus a high-end commercial one, that uses reflective tags placed on different parts of the body, at monitoring lower body movements, specifically when performing drop vertical jumps and lateral leg raises. They found that the two systems provided comparable data and that the new system showed enough detail to be clinically useful by rehab specialists.
Sadly, Microsoft is ending production of the Kinect cameras, but surely there will be other affordable depth sensing cameras with similar capabilities.
Here’s a video from University of Missouri with more about the technology:
Study in Human Kinetics Journal: Comparison of 3D Joint Angles Measured With the Kinect 2.0 Skeletal Tracker Versus a Marker-Based Motion Capture System…