Development of a Novel Evidence-Based Automated Mechanism for Competency Assessment in Powered Mobility Device

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Andonovski, Bojan; Stankovski, Mile

Development of a Novel Evidence-Based Automated Mechanism for Competency Assessment in Powered Mobility Device Journal Article

Mechanics, Materials Science & Engineering, 16 (1), 2018, ISSN: 2412-5954.

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Authors: Bojan Andonovski, Mile Stankovski

ABSTRACT. Research demonstrates that use of appropriate Assistive Technology (AT) is associated with increased independence and reduced need for ongoing care and support. Powered mobility devices (PMDs) such as power wheelchairs and scooters are proving to be useful pieces of assistive technology. This study focuses on developing and assessing the validity of a stand-alone sensor package and algorithms to help the assessment by an Occupational Therapists (OT) whether a person has the capacity to safely and efficiently operate a powered mobility device such as a wheelchair in their daily activities. This is accomplished by analysing data computed from a standalone sensor package fitted on a wheelchair platform. The proposed solution consists of a suite of sensors capable of inferring navigational features from the platform it is attached to (e.g. trajectories, map of surroundings, speeds, distance to doors, etc.). The study aims to compare and contrast objective data derived from a PMD mounted sensor package with subjective data obtained using a standard Occupational Therapy assessment. The research work demonstrated that accurate, reliable objective data from a sensor package can be used to augment the OT subjective assessment. Furthermore, OT reviews can take place at the therapist’s discretion as the data from the trials is logged. Results from a clinical evaluation of the proposed approach, taking as reference the commonly used Power Mobility Indoor Driving Assessment (PIDA) assessment, were conducted at the premises of the Prince of Wales (PoW) Hospital in Sydney by four users, showing consistency with the OT scores, and setting the scene to a larger study with wider targeted participation.

Keywords: powered mobility device, assistive technology, sensors, mapping and tracking, rehabilitation robotics

DOI 10.2412/mmse.22.9.310

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