Using Kinect v2 to Control a Laser Visual Cue System to Improve the Mobility during Freezing of Gait in Parkinson’s Disease.

Journal of Healthcare Engineering. 2019 Feb 20;2019:3845462.

Amini A, Banitsas K

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Different auditory and visual cues have been proven to be very effective in improving the mobility of people with Parkinson’s (PwP). Nonetheless, many of the available methods require user intervention and so on to activate the cues. Moreover, once activated, these systems would provide cues continuously regardless of the patient’s needs. This research proposes a new indoor method for casting dynamic/automatic visual cues for PwP based on their head direction and location in a room. The proposed system controls the behavior of a set of pan/tilt servo motors and laser pointers, based on the real-time skeletal information acquired from a Kinect v2 sensor. This produces an automatically adjusting set of laser lines that can always be in front of the patient as a guideline for where the next footstep would be placed. A user interface was also created that enables users to control and adjust the settings based on the preferences. The aim of this research was to provide PwP with an unobtrusive/automatic indoor system for improving their mobility during a Freezing of gait (FOG) incident. The results showed the possibility of employing such system, which does not rely on the subject’s input nor does it introduce any additional complexities to operate.

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