Automatic Assessment of the Type and Intensity of Agitated Hand Movements

Fiona Marshall, Shuai Zhang, Bryan Scotney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Downloads (Pure)


With increasing numbers of people living with dementia, there is growing interest in the automatic monitoring of agitation. Current assessments rely on carer observations within a framework of behavioural scales. Automatic monitoring of agitation can supplement existing assessments, providing carers and clinicians with a greater understanding of the causes and extent of agitation. Despite agitation frequently manifesting in repetitive hand movements, the automatic assessment of repetitive hand movements remains a sparsely researched field. Monitoring hand movements is problematic due to the subtle differences between different types of hand movements and variations in how they can be carried out; the lack of training data creates additional challenges. This paper proposes a novel approach to assess the type and intensity of repetitive hand movements using skeletal model data derived from video. We introduce a video-based dataset of five repetitive hand movements symptomatic of agitation. Using skeletal keypoint locations extracted from video, we demonstrate a system to recognise repetitive hand movements using discriminative poses. By first learning characteristics of the movement, our system can accurately identify changes in the intensity of repetitive movements. Wide inter-subject variation in agitated behaviours suggests the benefit of personalising the recognition model with some end-user information. Our results suggest that data captured using a single conventional RGB video camera can be used to automatically monitor agitated hand movements of sedentary patients.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Healthcare Informatics Research
Early online date23 Sep 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 23 Sep 2022


  • Pervasive computing
  • Agitation
  • Pattern recognition
  • Skeletal keypoint models
  • Behaviour observation


Dive into the research topics of 'Automatic Assessment of the Type and Intensity of Agitated Hand Movements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this