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actibelt - A novel platform to capture and analyse human motion

The level of a patient′s walking ability or impairment in the context of controlled clinical trials is usually measured by using questionnaires. Common problems are substantial, uncontrollable bias and high inter- and intra-rater variability. Invalid outcome measures and/or invalid surrogate markers in a variety of chronic disabling diseases are a well-known problem.

Physical activity in general and walking ability (distance, speed, quality) in particular play a major role as potential patient-oriented outcome measures and confounding factors in a broad range of diseases, multiple sclerosis, CAD and COPD being prominent examples. Insufficient assessment of this important variable that may also be a therapeutic option in its own right may lead to unnecessary noise and even bias in the data, thereby diluting and/or diminishing a potential beneficial effect of the treatment.

What is the actibelt?

We have developed an integrated platform to objectively assess the physical activity profile of a person using a high-tech 3D-accelerometer hidden in a belt buckle, the actibelt. Much like a miniaturised holter recorder measures long-term ECG, the actibelt measures high-resolution (100Hz in three axis) long-term accelerations close to the body′s centre of mass.