The applications of smart mobile device for detecting balance dysfunction in individuals with down syndrome

Tsung Hsun Hsieh, Chih Wei Peng, Kai Yun Chen, Ying Zu Huang, Yi Huang Lin, Wei Zong Zhong, Jen I. Liang, Jingpu Zhao, Chun Yu Cheng, Ya Ju Chang, Chih Hsiu Cheng, Yu Fen Chuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Falls are a major health concern leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for neurological disorders. Balance dysfunction is one of the common factors to determine fall risk in neurological patients. Preventative measures may help to reduce the incidence and severity of falls for detecting balance function and fall risk factors. However, the objective measures for balance require expensive equipment with the assessment of clinical expertise. A main gap remains in the evaluation method to objectively characterize the balance functions in individuals with high risk of falling. With the development of wearable and mobile devices, recent advances in smart mobile devices may provide a potential opportunity to manage the gap in the detailed quantification of balance impairments. The purpose of this study is to identify whether the biomechanical data measured by the mobile device is reliable to characterize the posture stability in various balance test conditions. A total of 39 children with Down syndrome completed four balancetesting tasks under altered base of support and vision. Simultaneous biomechanical measurements were gathered from the iPod and force plate analysis system during functional balance testing. The force plate and mobile system provided similar patterns of stability across groups. Correlation (r2) between two systems for path length, 95% ellipse area, peakto- peak, standard deviation and mean ranged from 0.60 to 0.99. We expect that the smart mobile device can provide reliable and accurate information to quantify the postural stability in individuals with elderly people or neurological disorders. The objectivity, portability and easy use of such mobile device make it ideal to apply in clinical environments for detecting balance functions and reducing the risk of falls in Down syndrome or other neurological patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1850007
JournalBiomedical Engineering - Applications, Basis and Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Accelerometer
  • Balance
  • Down syndrome
  • Mobile device

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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