Extracting Digital Biomarkers from Smartphone Sensors for Post-Operative Management of Distal Radius Fractures, abgeschlossen

Ulm University


Wi 2021/2022


Jhoiss Baloi


Distal Radius Fractures are the most common fractures among elderly people. They often result in decreased functionality of the wrist and are directly impacting health care cost at an ever-increasing rate. Cases are expected to increase due to increasing life expectancy. There is a common agreement that early wrist related activities are substantially improving the outcome of this type of fracture. Often times patients are referred to hand therapy (standard therapy), however there are several reasons why this may not be the best option for every patient. In recent studies, Inertial Measurement Unit sensors gained a lot of attention in healthcare-related studies. In this work, data collected by IMU sensors, is analysed and digital biomarkers are extracted. Data becomes a biomarker when a relationship to a health-related outcome is plausible. The primary goals in the treatment process of a distal radius fracture is to regain functionality and to reduce pain. Over the years, the Patient-related Wrist Evaluation (PRWE) questionnaire has been used to validate functionality and pain perception. This (digital) biomarker is analysed in this work with the aim of grouping the responses to this questionnaire to meaningful clusters. The same is done for a further questionnaire with respect to the patients wound. Another important outcome measure is range of motion (ROM) of the wrist. We are introducing an extraction procedure which allows us to extract wrist ROM for our collected datasets. Furthermore, comprehensive analysis and data validation are presented. In addition, as most of our data has categorical shape, algorithms have been chosen that allow concise clustering of categorical data. For our purposes, K-modes clustering and Latent Class Analysis were used as analytic models to group our datasets. Our implementation, ROM-Analyser, can be used to extract the wrist ROM. In this thesis, our aim is to explore theses digital biomarkers, which may have the potential to monitor the healing process of a distal radius fracture at a post-operative level.


Walter Karlen