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Marker-less systems based on digital video cameras and deep learning for gait analysis could have a deep impact in clinical routine. A recently developed system has shown promising results in terms of joint center position but has not been yet evaluated in terms of gait outcomes. How does this novel marker-less system compare to a marker-based reference system in terms of clinically relevant gait parameters? The deep learning method behind the developed marker-less system was trained on a dedicated dataset consisting of forty-one asymptomatic and pathological subjects each performing ten walking trials. The system could estimate the three-dimensional position of seventeen joint centers or keypoints (e.g., neck, shoulders, hip, knee, and ankles). We evaluated the marker-less system against a marker-based system in terms of differences in joint position (Euclidean distance), detection of gait events (e.g., heel strike and toe-off), spatiotemporal parameters (e.g., step length, time), kinematic parameters (e.g., hip and knee extension-flexion), and inter-trial reliability for kinematic parameters. The marker-less system was able to estimate the three-dimensional position of joint centers with a mean difference of 13.1 mm (SD = 10.2 mm). 99% of the estimated gait events were estimated within 10 ms of the corresponding reference values. Estimated spatiotemporal parameters showed zero bias. The mean and standard deviation of the differences of the estimated kinematic parameters varied by parameter (for example, the mean and standard deviation for knee extension flexion angle were -3.0° and 2.7°). Inter-trial reliability of the measured parameters was similar to that of the marker-based references. The developed marker-less system can measure the spatiotemporal parameters within the range of the minimum detectable changes obtained using the marker-based reference system. Moreover, except for hip extension flexion, the system showed promising results in terms of several kinematic parameters. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Citation

Saman Vafadar, Wafa Skalli, Aurore Bonnet-Lebrun, Ayman Assi, Laurent Gajny. Assessment of a novel deep learning-based marker-less motion capture system for gait study. Gait & posture. 2022 May;94:138-143

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PMID: 35306382

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