IEEE access ISSN: 2169-3536 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Year: 2023

Type: journal-article

Authors: Laura Romeo, Roberto Marani, Tiziana D'Orazio, Grazia Cicirelli

In recent years, the number of older people living alone has increased rapidly. Innovative vision systems to remotely assess people’s mobility can help healthy, active, and happy aging. In the related literature, the mobility assessment of older people is not yet widespread in clinical practice. In addition, the poor availability of data typically forces the analyses to binary classification, e.g. normal/anomalous behavior, instead of processing exhaustive medical protocols. In this paper, real videos of elderly people performing three mobility tests of a clinical protocol are automatically categorized, emulating the complex evaluation process of expert physiotherapists. Videos acquired using low-cost cameras are initially processed to obtain skeletal information. A proper data augmentation technique is then used to enlarge the dataset variability. Thus, significant features are extracted to generate a set of inputs in the form of time series. Four deep neural network architectures with feedback connections, even aided by a preliminary convolutional layer, are proposed to label the input features in discrete classes or to estimate a continuous mobility score as the result of a regression task. The best results are achieved by the proposed Conv-BiLSTM classifier, which achieves the best accuracy, ranging between 88.12% and 90%. Further comparisons with shallow learning classifiers still prove the superiority of the deep Conv-BiLSTM classifier in assessing people’s mobility, since deep networks can evaluate the quality of test executions.