Wearable inertial sensors for human movement analysis: a five-year update

Pietro Picerno, Marco Iosa, Clive D'Souza, Maria Grazia Benedetti, Stefano Paolucci, Giovanni Morone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: The aim of the present review is to track the evolution of wearable IMUs from their use in supervised laboratory-based ambulatory settings to their application for long-term monitoring of human movement in unsupervised naturalistic settings.

AREAS COVERED: Four main emerging areas of application were identified and synthesized, namely, mobile health solutions (specifically, for the assessment of frailty, risk of falls, chronic neurological diseases, and for the monitoring and promotion of active living), occupational ergonomics, rehabilitation and telerehabilitation, and cognitive assessment. Findings from recent scientific literature in each of these areas was synthesized from an applied and/or clinical perspective with the purpose of providing clinical researchers and practitioners with practical guidance on contemporary uses of inertial sensors in applied clinical settings.

EXPERT OPINION: IMU-based wearable devices have undergone a rapid transition from use in laboratory-based clinical practice to unsupervised, applied settings. Successful use of wearable inertial sensing for assessing mobility, motor performance and movement disorders in applied settings will rely also on machine learning algorithms for managing the vast amounts of data generated by these sensors for extracting information that is both clinically relevant and interpretable by practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExpert Review of Medical Devices
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Oct 2 2021


  • Accelerometry
  • activity monitoring
  • biomechanics
  • ergonomics
  • gait analysis
  • kinematics
  • mHealth
  • motion analysis
  • motor assessment
  • rehabilitation
  • remote monitoring
  • telerehabilitation


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