Simultaneous exercise recognition and evaluation in prescribed routines: Approach to virtual coaches
Home-based physical therapies are effective if the prescribed exercises are correctly executed and patients adhere to these routines. This is specially important for older adults who can easily forget the guidelines from therapists. Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) are commonly used for tracking exercise execution giving information of patients’ motion data. In this work, we propose the use of Machine Learning techniques to recognize which exercise is being carried out and to assess if the recognized exercise is properly executed by using data from four IMUs placed on the person limbs. To the best of our knowledge, both tasks have never been addressed together as a unique complex task before. However, their combination is needed for the complete characterization of the performance of physical therapies. We evaluate the performance of six machine learning classifiers in three contexts: recognition and evaluation in a single classifier, recognition of correct exercises, excluding the wrongly performed exercises, and a two-stage approach that first recognizes the exercise and then evaluates it. We apply our proposal to a set of 8 exercises of the upper-and lower-limbs designed for maintaining elderly people health status. To do so, the motion of 30 volunteers was monitored with 4 IMUs. We obtain accuracies of 88.4% and the 91.4% in the two initial scenarios. In the third one, the recognition provides an accuracy of 96.2 %, whereas the exercise evaluation varies between 93.6% and 100.0 %. This work proves the feasibility of IMUs for a complete monitoring of physical therapies in which we can get information of which exercise is being performed and its quality, as a basis for designing virtual coaches.
This work was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (MICROCEBUS RTI2018-095168-B-C51) and the Youth Employment Program (PEJ-2020-PRE/TIC-17000).
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