Can Inertial Movement Sensors (IMUs) provide a valid and reliable way of measuring Spinal Mobility in Axial Spondyloarthritis (axSpa): a Clinimetric Evaluation

Objectives of the Project

The main objective of this project is to test the reliability of electronic sensors in measuring spinal movement in AS. Current methods rely on tape measures and are not reliable enough to evaluate new treatments for AS. We also want to test if we can reliably measure spinal movement when the patient is unsupervised. We are also planning to develop a mobile ‘app’ so that patients with AS will be able to get feedback and advice about their spinal mobility at home or at work.

Facts and Figures

Project Lead
Dr. P. Gardiner
Western Health and Social Care Trust
FOREUM resarch grant: €270.000
2017 - 2020

Meet the Team

Dr. P. Gardiner
Western Health and Social Care Trust
Dr. J. Condell
University of Ulster
Assoc. Prof. F Wilson
Trinity College Dublin
Dr. F O'Shea
Dublin
Prof. P Machado
University College London
Prof. E Collantes Estevez
Fundacion para la Investigacion Biomedica de Córdoba
Prof. J. da Silva
Centro Hospitalar E Universitario de Coimbra
Prof. JL Garrido Castro
University of Cordoba

Patient Voice

Patient groups in Spain and the UK were consulted in the design of this project and their point of view will be taken into account throughout the project. Specifically input was given:

  • Review of original project proposal, preparation of lay summary: La Asociación Cordo-besa de Enfermos afectados de Espondilitis (ACEADE); National Association for Ankylosing Spondylitis (NASS) 2016.
  • Meeting with local NASS group to present results and seek advice about app design. Approximately 40 attended this evening meeting and completed questionnaires
  • Oral Presentation of results at V Congreso Nacional de Pacientes Cronicos de SEMERGEN (Spain) April 2018 "Mantente en movimiento: dispositivos para la evaluación y seguimiento de la movilidad en pacientes reumáticos." (Keep moving: devices for the evaluation and monitoring of mobility in rheumatic patients). Prof. Garrido Castro was awarded the prize for the best communication. Mantente en movimiento: dispositivos para la evaluación y seguimiento…
  • Training course for physiotherapists interested in sensor measurements – June 201
  • Patient ‘co-design’ focus group Spinal Mobility App development meeting: Londonderry, September 2018

Interim Results

Preliminary results have confirmed the accuracy and reliability of sensors in the clinic setting. It is still being tested how to best carry out tests accurately at home. For a detailed report on the project, please read more

Background

With recent advances in the accuracy of ‘wearable sensors’ they are now widely used in mobile phones, watches and other wearable devices. This technology has been tried in patients with low back pain but has not yet been used in patients with AS. The standard method of measuring spinal mobility using a tape measure is known as the Bath AS Metrology Index (BASMI). Unfortunately, it is not accurate enough to evaluate new treatments for AS and it cannot be used in the home setting. A more accurate ‘motion-tracking’ method uses a set of cameras to measure movement in a ‘gait laboratory’. Tests with one of these setups (UCOTrack) showed that it was more accurate and reliable than BASMI, and it was also better able to show changes with treatment. MRI scans of the spine can detect changes in inflammation before and after treatment but again this is too expensive to be widely used. Previous studies showed that changes in the BASMI didn’t match the changes seen on MRI, so part of our study will be to compare the MRI changes with changes in the ‘sensor mobility index’ (we’re calling it IMU-ASMI for now).

Publications

  • Inertial motion sensors using the Vimove© System is a valid method to assess spinal mobility in patients with Axial Spondyloarthritis I. C. Aranda-Valera, J. L. Garrido-Castro, I. Martinez-Sanchez, C. Gonzalez2, P. Gardiner, P. M. Machado, E.Collantes (EULAR 2018)
  • Axial Spondyloarthritis posture assessment using inertial sensors J. L. Garrido-Castro, I. C. Concha-Aranda, P. Gardiner, P. M. Machado, J. Williams, E. Collantes-Estevez (EULAR 2018)
  • Advanced metrology in patiens with Axial Spondyloarthritis: lumbar or thoracic+lumbar measurements for spinal mobility assessment? I.C. Aranda-Valera, L. Garcia-Luque, S. Alcaraz-Clariana, J. L. Garrido-Castro, I. Martinez-Sanchez, C. Gonzalez, P. Gardiner, P. M. Machado, E. Collantes (EULAR 2018)
  • Lumbar muscles stiffness in patients with Axial Spondyloarthritis is altered in comparison with healthy subjects. C. Aranda-Valera, S. Alcaraz-Clariana, L. Garcia-Luque, J. L. Garrido-Castro, I. Martinez-Sanchez, C. Gonzalez, P. Gardiner, P. M. Machado, E. Collantes1 on behalf of iMaxSpA Study Group (EULAR 2018)
  • Validez de los sensores inerciales de movimiento utilizando el Sistema Vimove© para la evaluación de la movilidad espinal en pacientes con espondiloartritis axial. Comunicación a XLIV Congreso Nacional de la Sociedad Española de Reumatología (EULAR 2018).
  • Metrología avanzada en pacientes con espondilarotritis axial: ¿medición lumbar o lumbar + torácica para la evaluación de la movilidad espinal?. Comunicación a XLIV Congreso Nacional de la Sociedad Española de Reumatología (EULAR 2018)
  • El tono muscular paravertebral lumbar en pacientes con espondiloartritis axial está alterado en comparación con sujetos sanos. Comunicación a XLIV Congreso Nacional de la Sociedad Española de Reumatología (EULAR 2018).
  • Evaluación de la postura espinal en pacientes con espondiloartritis axial utilizando sensores inerciales. Comunicación a XLIV Congreso Nacional de la Sociedad Española de Reumatología (EULAR 2018).
  • ‘Thinking Remote’ Conference, Inverness, Scotland May 2018: Using Gamification App Design & Remote Wearable Sensors to Attain Ankylosing Spondylitis Patient’s Engagement. Mr Niall McShane, Dr Karla Muñoz Esquivel, Dr Joan Condell, Dr Philip Gardiner, Dr Juan L. Garrido-Castro
  • ‘Using Gamificaton Design & Remote Wearable Sensors to Attain Ankylosing Spondylitis Patient’s engagement’ N. McShane, K. Munoz Esquivel, J. Condell, P. Gardiner, J L Garrido-Castro. TMED9 Transitional Medicine Conference Derry, N.Ireland 12-13 Sept 2018
  • ‘Validation of a New Electronic Spinal Mobility Index for patients with Axial Spondyloarthritis Based on Inertial Motion unit (IMU) sensors’. P. Gardiner, D. Small, E. Boyle, A-M Conlon, P. M. Machado, Da Silva J.A.P, E.Collantes, J. L. Garrido-Castro*  on behalf of iMaxSpA Study Group (ACR 2018)