Arm movement kinematics may provide a more sensitive way to assess neurorehabilitation outcomes than existing metrics. However, measuring arm kinematics in people with stroke can be challenging for traditional optical tracking systems due to non-ideal environments, expense, and difficulty performing required calibration. Here, we present two open-source methods, one using inertial measurement units (IMUs) and another using virtual reality (Vive) sensors, for accurate measurements of wrist position with respect to the shoulder during reaching movements in people with stroke. We assessed the accuracy of each method during a 3D reaching task. We also demonstrated each method’s ability to track two metrics derived from kinematics-sweep area and smoothness-in people with chronic stroke. We computed correlation coefficients between the kinematics estimated by each method when appropriate. Compared to a traditional optical tracking system, both methods accurately tracked the wrist during reaching, with mean signed errors of 0.09 ± 1.81 cm and 0.48 ± 1.58 cm for the IMUs and Vive, respectively. Furthermore, both methods’ estimated kinematics were highly correlated with each other (p < 0.01). By using relatively inexpensive wearable sensors, these methods may be useful for developing kinematic metrics to evaluate stroke rehabilitation outcomes in both laboratory and clinical environments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas