A primary motivation of our research is the monitoring of physical, physiological, and biochemical parameters - in any environment and without activity restriction and behaviour modification - through using miniaturised, wireless Body Sensor Networks (BSN). Key research issues that are currently being addressed include novel sensor designs, ultra-low power microprocessor and wireless platforms, energy scavenging, biocompatibility, system integration and miniaturisation, processing-on-node technologies combined with novel ASIC design, autonomic sensor networks and light-weight communication protocols. Our research is aimed at addressing the future needs of life-long health, wellbeing and healthcare, particularly those related to demographic changes associated with an ageing population and patients with chronic illnesses. This research theme is therefore closely aligned with the IGHI’s vision of providing safe, effective and accessible technologies for both developed and developing countries.

Some of our latest works were exhibited at the 2015 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.

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  • Journal article
    Jarchi D, Lo B, Wong C, Ieong E, Nathwani D, Yang GZet al., 2015,

    Gait Analysis From a Single Ear-Worn Sensor: Reliability and Clinical Evaluation for Orthopaedic Patients

    , IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, Vol: 24, Pages: 882-892, ISSN: 1558-0210

    Objective assessment of detailed gait patterns after orthopaedic surgery is important for post-surgical follow-up and rehabilitation. The purpose of this paper is to assess the use of a single ear-worn sensor for clinical gait analysis. A reliability measure is devised for indicating the confidence level of the estimated gait events, allowing it to be used in free-walking environments and for facilitating clinical assessment of orthopaedic patients after surgery. Patient groups prior to or following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction and knee replacement were recruited to assess the proposed method. The ability of the sensor for detailed longitudinal analysis is demonstrated with a group of patients after lower limb reconstruction by considering parameters such as temporal and force-related gait asymmetry derived from gait events. The results suggest that the ear-worn sensor can be used for objective gait assessments of orthopaedic patients without the requirement and expense of an elaborate laboratory setup for gait analysis. It significantly simplifies the monitoring protocol and opens the possibilities for home-based remote patient assessment.

  • Journal article
    Cola G, Avvenuti M, Vecchio A, Yang G-Z, Lo Bet al., 2015,

    An on-node processing approach for anomaly detection in gait

    , IEEE Sensors Journal, Vol: 15, Pages: 6640-6649, ISSN: 1558-1748
  • Journal article
    Kwasnicki RM, Hettiaratchy S, Okogbaa J, Lo B, Yang G-Z, Darzi Aet al., 2015,

    Return of functional mobility after an open tibial fracture a sensor-based longitudinal cohort study using the Hamlyn Mobility Score

    , Bone and Joint Journal, Vol: 97B, Pages: 1118-1125, ISSN: 2049-4394

    In this study we quantified and characterised the return of functional mobility following open tibial fracture using the Hamlyn Mobility Score. A total of 20 patients who had undergone reconstruction following this fracture were reviewed at three-month intervals for one year. An ear-worn movement sensor was used to assess their mobility and gait. The Hamlyn Mobility Score and its constituent kinematic features were calculated longitudinally, allowing analysis of mobility during recovery and between patients with varying grades of fracture. The mean score improved throughout the study period. Patients with more severe fractures recovered at a slower rate; those with a grade I Gustilo-Anderson fracture completing most of their recovery within three months, those with a grade II fracture within six months and those with a grade III fracture within nine months.Analysis of gait showed that the quality of walking continued to improve up to 12 months post-operatively, whereas the capacity to walk, as measured by the six-minute walking test, plateaued after six months.Late complications occurred in two patients, in whom the trajectory of recovery deviated by > 0.5 standard deviations below that of the remaining patients. This is the first objective, longitudinal assessment of functional recovery in patients with an open tibial fracture, providing some clarification of the differences in prognosis and recovery associated with different grades of fracture.

  • Journal article
    Andreu Perez J, C Y Poon C, Merrifield R, Guang-Zhong Yet al., 2015,

    Big Data for Health

    , IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, Vol: 19, Pages: 1193-1208, ISSN: 2168-2194

    This paper provides an overview of recent developments in big data in the context of biomedical and health informatics. It outlines the key characteristics of big data and how medical and health informatics, translational bioinformatics, sensor informatics, and imaging informatics will benefit from an integrated approach of piecing together different aspects of personalized information from a diverse range of data sources, both structured and unstructured, covering genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, as well as imaging, clinical diagnosis, and long-term continuous physiological sensing of an individual. It is expected that recent advances in big data will expand our knowledge for testing new hypotheses about disease management from diagnosis to prevention to personalized treatment. The rise of big data, however, also raises challenges in terms of privacy, security, data ownership, data stewardship, and governance. This paper discusses some of the existing activities and future opportunities related to big data for health, outlining some of the key underlying issues that need to be tackled.

  • Journal article
    Kirby GSJ, Guyver P, Strickland L, Alvand A, Yang G-Z, Hargrove C, Lo BPL, Rees JLet al., 2015,

    Assessing arthroscopic skills using wireless elbow-worn motion sensors

    , Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery-American Volume, Vol: 97A, Pages: 1119-1127, ISSN: 1535-1386

    Background: Assessment of surgical skill is a critical component of surgical training. Approaches to assessment remain predominantly subjective, although more objective measures such as Global Rating Scales are in use. This study aimed to validate the use of elbow-worn, wireless, miniaturized motion sensors to assess the technical skill of trainees performing arthroscopic procedures in a simulated environment.Methods: Thirty participants were divided into three groups on the basis of their surgical experience: novices (n = 15), intermediates (n = 10), and experts (n = 5). All participants performed three standardized tasks on an arthroscopic virtual reality simulator while wearing wireless wrist and elbow motion sensors. Video output was recorded and a validated Global Rating Scale was used to assess performance; dexterity metrics were recorded from the simulator. Finally, live motion data were recorded via Bluetooth from the wireless wrist and elbow motion sensors and custom algorithms produced an arthroscopic performance score.Results: Construct validity was demonstrated for all tasks, with Global Rating Scale scores and virtual reality output metrics showing significant differences between novices, intermediates, and experts (p < 0.001). The correlation of the virtual reality path length to the number of hand movements calculated from the wireless sensors was very high (p < 0.001). A comparison of the arthroscopic performance score levels with virtual reality output metrics also showed highly significant differences (p < 0.01). Comparisons of the arthroscopic performance score levels with the Global Rating Scale scores showed strong and highly significant correlations (p < 0.001) for both sensor locations, but those of the elbow-worn sensors were stronger and more significant (p < 0.001) than those of the wrist-worn sensors.Conclusions: A new wireless assessment of surgical performance system for objective assessment of surgical skills has proven v

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