A robust system for sensing acoustic emissions for wearable knee health assessment
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The objective of the research was to pursue hardware and software that enables wearable measurement of knee joint sounds, ultimately providing a platform to continuously quantify the health of a knee during rehabilitation of an acute injury. This work focuses on the robust measurement of joint acoustic emissions in the context of activity. Two sensing modalities—“air” and contact microphones—were used to measure joint sounds, for they provide complementary sensing capabilities for detecting acoustic emissions, which present as airborne signals and as skin vibrations. Inertial measurement data is collected simultaneously with joint sounds to provide physiological context, namely joint angle and activity classification information, and observe the consistency of these signals with respect to particular activities. Characterization of these sensors and demonstration of their high-quality and repeatable measurements are presented. Additionally, a preliminary, wearable, embedded system was implemented to collect data to replace in-lab / in-clinic data acquisition systems.