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Evaluation of an inexpensive depth camera for passive in-home fall risk assessment

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2 Author(s)
Stone, E.E. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA ; Skubic, M.

We present an investigation of a new, inexpensive depth camera device, the Microsoft Kinect, for passive fall risk assessment in home environments. In order to allow older adults to safely continue living in independent settings as they age, the ability to assess their risk of falling, along with detecting the early onset of illness and functional decline, is essential. Daily measurements of temporal and spatial gait parameters would greatly facilitate such an assessment. Ideally, these measurements would be obtained passively, in normal daily activity, without the need for wearable devices or expensive equipment. In this work, we evaluate the use of the inexpensive Microsoft Kinect for obtaining measurements of temporal and spatial gait parameters as compared to an existing web-camera based system, along with a Vicon motion capture system for ground truth. We describe our techniques for extracting gait parameters from the Kinect data, as well as the advantages of the Kinect over the web-camera based system for passive, in-home fall risk assessment.

Published in:

Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare (PervasiveHealth), 2011 5th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

23-26 May 2011