Probabilistic modelling of gait for robust passive monitoring in daily life

Yordan Petrov Raykov, Luc Evers, Reham Badawy, Bastiaan R. Bloem, Tom Heskes, Marjan Meinders, Kasper Claes, Max A. Little

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Passive monitoring in daily life may provide valuable insights into a person's health throughout the day. Wearable sensor devices play a key role in enabling such monitoring in a non-obtrusive fashion. However, sensor data collected in daily life reflect multiple health and behavior-related factors together. This creates the need for a structured principled analysis to produce reliable and interpretable predictions that can be used to support clinical diagnosis and treatment. In this work we develop a principled modelling approach for free-living gait (walking) analysis. Gait is a promising target for non-obtrusive monitoring because it is common and indicative of many different movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD), yet its analysis has largely been limited to experimentally controlled lab settings. To locate and characterize stationary gait segments in free-living using accelerometers, we present an unsupervised probabilistic framework designed to segment signals into differing gait and non-gait patterns. We evaluate the approach using a new video-referenced dataset including 25 PD patients with motor fluctuations and 25 age-matched controls, performing unscripted daily living activities in and around their own houses. Using this dataset, we demonstrate the framework's ability to detect gait and predict medication induced fluctuations in PD patients based on free-living gait. We show that our approach is robust to varying sensor locations, including the wrist, ankle, trouser pocket and lower back.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2293-2304
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
Issue number6
Early online date16 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. For more information, see

Funding: This work was funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s
Research (grants 10231 and 17369), UCB Biopharma, ZonMw (grant
91215076 “Big Data for Personalised Medicine“), the Dutch Ministry of
Economic Affairs (PPP Allowance made available by the Top Sector Life
Sciences and Health to stimulate public-private partnerships: TKI-LSHT2016-LSHM15022), and Sichting ParkinsonFonds.


  • Gait modelling
  • gait detection
  • health monitoring
  • passive monitoring
  • wearable sensing


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