Wireless Inertial Network
In the medical field it is necessary to evaluate some objecti-ve measurements of the kinematic of different body segments as well as the whole body to identify possible problems or to evaluate the effects of a therapeutic treatment In this context the gait analysis is coming an instrument to quantify the ef-fects of a surgery, to evaluate the conditions of a patient and to select the best treatment. lt exists a lot of reliable methods to evaluate the locomotion. In particular the force platforms and the optoelectronic systems have a good diffusion. Anyway their usage is limited even today to a few numbers of medical centers. This methodology is expensive in terms of time takes a lot of space and has a small area of detection. Additionally the acquisitions are done in a laboratory which is an artificial environment and this can limit the patient to act in a way that is diffferent from the real way of life and his everyday movements. In the movement analysis there is the necessity of small devices. easy to transport and cheap that does not compromise the normal activity of the person. To that end there has been developed an inertial wireless system to evaluate exercises and the motion activity and to identify events without the limitation of the laboratory. These characteristics seems to allow the inertial sensors to be used to study the motion continuously without the limitation of the laboratory .
Free4Act is a wireless inertial sensor net create to evaluate the movements of a person . The sensors are connected to a datalogger (up to 16 sensors) through ZigBee radio connection. Each sensor unit can be configured to contain an accelerometer , a field magnetic sensor and a gyroscope. The idea has been to create a system with a wide applicability in the market of rehabilitation and in the clinic field with a relative low price. The system is modular with the possibility to propose. to the customer. different software packages according to their needs together with all the system options (fix strap etc. and everything else). On this basis a validation has been performed on the system to monitor the physical activity to define specific characteristics according its specialization in the rehabilitation field. On the same time the application software has been developped . All the protocols are tested comparing the results with the same ones from optoelectronic systems and force platforms.