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Wearable motion-based platform for functional spine health assessment
  1. Prasath Mageswaran1,
  2. Jonathan Dufour1,
  3. Alexander Aurand1,
  4. Gregory Knapik1,
  5. Hamed Hani1,
  6. Dukagjin M Blakaj1,2,
  7. Safdar Khan1,3,
  8. Nasir Hussain1,4,
  9. Maneesh Tiwari1,
  10. Jayesh Vallabh1,5,
  11. Tristan Weaver1,4 and
  12. William S Marras1
  1. 1 Spine Research Institute, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  2. 2 Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  3. 3 Orthopedics, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  4. 4 Anesthesiology, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  5. 5 Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Prasath Mageswaran, The Ohio State University, Columbus, USA; prasath.1{at}


Introduction Low back pain is a significant burden to society and the lack of reliable outcome measures, combined with a prevailing inability to quantify the biopsychosocial elements implicated in the disease, impedes clinical decision-making and distorts treatment efficacy. This paper aims to validate the utility of a biopsychosocial spine platform to provide standardized wearable sensor-derived functional motion assessments to assess spine function and differentiate between healthy controls and patients. Secondarily, we explored the correlation between these motion features and subjective biopsychosocial measures.

Methods An observational study was conducted on healthy controls (n=50) and patients with low back pain (n=50) to validate platform utility. The platform was used to conduct functional assessments along with patient-reported outcome assessments to holistically document cohort differences. Our primary outcomes were motion features; and our secondary outcomes were biopsychosocial measures (pain, function, etc).

Results Our results demonstrated statistically significant differences in motion features between healthy and patient cohorts across anatomical planes. Importantly, we found velocity and acceleration in the axial plane showed the largest difference, with healthy controls having 49.7% and 55.7% higher values, respectively, than patients. In addition, we found significant correlations between motion features and biopsychosocial measures for pain, physical function and social role only.

Conclusions Our study validated the use of wearable sensor-derived functional motion metrics in differentiating healthy controls and patients. Collectively, this technology has the potential to facilitate holistic biopsychosocial evaluations to enhance spine care and improve patient outcomes.

Trial registration number NCT05776771.

  • Back Pain
  • Pain Management

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request.

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Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request.

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  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it published Online First. The affiliations for Nasir Hussain have been updated.

  • Contributors All authors made significant contributions to this research, have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript. The following are specific contributions by each author: Conceptualization, PM, JD, GK, AA and WSM; methodology, PM, JD, GK, AA, DMB, JV, MT, NH, SK, TW, and WSM; software, JD, and AA; validation, JD, AA, and WSM; formal analysis, PM, JD, GK, AA, and WSM; investigation, PM, JD, GK, AA and WSM; resources, DMB, JV, NH, SK, TW, and WSM; data curation, DMB, JV, NH, SK, and TW; writing—original draft preparation, PM, JD,GK, and WSM; writing—review and editing, PM, JD, GK, DB, MT, and WSM; visualization, DB, SK, NH, MT, and JV; supervision, WM, and TW; project administration, PM, JD and WSM; funding acquisition, TW and WSM. PM is the guarantor of this article.

  • Funding This research was funded in part by National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the NIH HEAL Initiative under award numbers 1UH2AR076729-01, 4UH3AR076729-02, 1U24AR076730-01, 3UH3AR076729-02S1 and 3UH3AR076729-02S2. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or its NIH HEAL Initiative. Additionally, this research was also supported by a variety of funds from Defense Health Agency (DHA) under contract numbers - W81XWH-20-C-0045, and W81XWH21C0047.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.