IMU Sensor-based Electronic Goniometric Glove for clinical finger movement analysis

James Connolly, Joan Condell, Brendan O'Flynn, Javier Torres Sanchez, Philip Gardiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)
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Arthritis remains a disabling and painful disease, and involvement of finger joints is a major cause of disability and loss of employment. Traditional arthritis measurements require labour intensive examination by clinical staff. These manual measurements are inaccurate and open to observer variation.This paper presents the development and testing of a next generation wireless smart glove to facilitate the accurate measurement of finger movement through the integration of multiple IMU sensors, with bespoke controlling algorithms. Our main objective was to measure finger and thumb joint movement. These dynamic measurements will provide clinicians with a new and accurate way to measure loss of movement in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Commercially available gaming gloves are not fitted with sufficient sensors for this particular application, and require calibration for each glove wearer. Unlike these state-of-the-art data gloves, the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) glove uses a combination of novel stretchable substrate material and 9 degree of freedom (DOF) inertial sensors in conjunction with complex data analytics to detect joint movement. Our novel iSEG-Glove requires minimal calibration and is therefore particularly suited to the healthcare environment. Inaccuracies may arise for wearers who have varying degrees of movement in their finger joints, variance in hand size or deformities. The developed glove is fitted with sensors to overcome these issues. This glove will help quantify joint stiffness and monitor patient progression during the arthritis rehabilitation process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1273-1281
JournalIEEE Sensors
Issue number3
Early online date22 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Feb 2018


  • Data glove
  • wireless sensor networks
  • Inertial Measurement Unit
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • sensor calibration


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