iPi Soft Markerless Motion Capture Technology Aides Researchers at Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center

“Using iPi Motion Capture software helps provide a very accurate digital record of participants’ motions, useful to better quantify myriad facets of gait, balance and mobility,” says Bob Dawe PhD, Assistant Professor of Radiology at the RADC.

Researchers at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center (the RADC), a department at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, currently focused on several large ongoing studies of aging and dementia that include more than 2,000 individuals, have found a new tool in their battle against Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia: markerless motion capture.

According to Bob Dawe, PhD, Assistant Professor of Radiology, there is an increasing recognition in the role gait, mobility and physical activity play in influencing the brain health and successful aging and quality of life in older adults. Because many of the seniors in the study are not able or willing to travel to the facility, a team of RADC researchers are using iPi Soft motion capture technology in conjunction with Microsoft Kinect motion sensor devices to go into different communities to meet with participants and conduct annual tests of cognitive ability, health status questionnaires, blood draws and other research with the goal, he says, of better understanding the factors most influential in staving off these diseases.

“Using iPi Motion Capture software paired with Microsoft Kinect we now have a very accurate digital record of participants’ motions as they complete different motor performances, from which we can better quantify myriad facets of gait, balance and mobility,” Dawe says. “We compared some of the metrics extracted with iPi Motion Capture to the gold standard optical tracking system in the motion analysis laboratory and the timing measures are spot on, and the accuracy of estimated joint angles is also very respectable. On top of that, the iPi Soft motion capture system is more user-friendly than the professional motion tracking rig.”

Dawe explained that the RADC first became interested in using the Kinect as a tool to capture aspects of mobility in its older research participants, but soon learned that the device alone would not be substantial enough to yield accurate results.

“iPi Soft’s iPi Recorder and iPi Mocap Studio are very polished products that did not require extensive programming knowledge,” Dawe notes. “I was thrilled when it worked right out of the box in just a few moments, with the installation package taking care of all the necessary components without any of the cryptic error messages I’d become accustomed to with some of the open source packages I’d worked with in the past.”

The RADC testing measures about a dozen performances, such as walking a straight line, rising from a chair,…

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