Journal Article

A novel criticality analysis method for assessing obesity treatment efficacy


Human gait is a significant indicator of overall health and well-being due to its dependence on metabolic requirements. Abnormalities in gait can indicate the presence of metabolic dysfunction, such as diabetes or obesity. However, detecting these can be challenging using classical methods, which often involve subjective clinical assessments or invasive procedures. In this work, a novel methodology known as Criticality Analysis (CA) was applied to the monitoring of the gait of teenagers with varying amounts of metabolic stress who are taking part in an clinical intervention to increase their activity and reduce overall weight. The CA approach analysed gait using inertial measurement units (IMU) by mapping the dynamic gait pattern into a nonlinear representation space. The resulting dynamic paths were then classified using a Support Vector Machine (SVM) algorithm, which is well-suited for this task due to its ability to handle nonlinear and dynamic data. The combination of the CA approach and the SVM algorithm demonstrated high accuracy and non-invasive detection of metabolic stress. It resulted in an average accuracy within the range of 78.2% to 90%. Additionally, at the group level, it was observed to improve fitness and health during the period of the intervention. Therefore, this methodology showed a great potential to be a valuable tool for healthcare professionals in detecting and monitoring metabolic stress, as well as other associated disorders.

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Eltanani, Shadi
Olde Scheper, Tjeerd
Munoz-Balbontin, Mireya
Aldea, Arantza
Cossington, Jo
Lawrie, Sophie
Villalpando-Carrion, Salvador
Adame, Maria Jose
Felgueres, Daniela
Martin, Clare
Dawes, Helen

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics
Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work


Year of publication: 2023
Date of RADAR deposit: 2024-02-07

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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