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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 5190693, 9 pages
Research Article

Quantitative Approach Based on Wearable Inertial Sensors to Assess and Identify Motion and Errors in Techniques Used during Training of Transfers of Simulated c-Spine-Injured Patients

1Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Orthopedic Service, Department of Surgery, Université de Sherbrooke, 3001 12e Avenue Nord, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada J1H 5N4
2Research Center on Aging, 1036 Belvédère Sud, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada J1H 4C4
3Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation (3IT), Université de Sherbrooke, 3000 Université Blvd, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada J1K 0A5
4DESS-Thérapie du Sport, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, 3351 Boul. des Forges, C.P. 500, Trois-Rivières, QC, Canada G9A 5H7
5Exercise Science/Athletic Therapy, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal, QC, Canada H4B 1R6

Correspondence should be addressed to Patrick Boissy

Received 19 October 2017; Revised 7 December 2017; Accepted 24 December 2017; Published 5 March 2018

Academic Editor: Andreas Maier

Copyright © 2018 Karina Lebel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Patients with suspected spinal cord injuries undergo numerous transfers throughout treatment and care. Effective c-spine stabilization is crucial to minimize the impacts of the suspected injury. Healthcare professionals are trained to perform those transfers using simulation; however, the feedback on the manoeuvre is subjective. This paper proposes a quantitative approach to measure the efficacy of the c-spine stabilization and provide objective feedback during training. Methods. 3D wearable motion sensors are positioned on a simulated patient to capture the motion of the head and trunk during a training scenario. Spatial and temporal indicators associated with the motion can then be derived from the signals. The approach was developed and tested on data obtained from 21 paramedics performing the log-roll, a transfer technique commonly performed during prehospital and hospital care. Results. In this scenario, 55% of the c-spine motion could be explained by the difficulty of rescuers to maintain head and trunk alignment during the rotation part of the log-roll and their difficulty to initiate specific phases of the motion synchronously. Conclusion. The proposed quantitative approach has the potential to be used for personalized feedback during training sessions and could even be embedded into simulation mannequins to provide an innovative training solution.