Evaluation of orthostatic reactions in real-world environments using wearable sensors

Johanna Happold, Robert Richer, Arne Kuderle, Heiko Gabner, Jochen Klucken, Bjoern M. Eskofier, Felix Kluge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


As global life expectancy is constantly rising, the early detection of age-related, neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, is becoming increasingly important. Patients suffering from Parkinson's disease often show autonomic nervous system dysfunction which is why its examination is an important diagnostic tool. Measuring the response of the heart rate (variability) to postural transitions and thereby assessing the orthostatic reaction is a common indicator of autonomic nervous system functioning. However, since these measurements are commonly performed in a clinical environment, results can be impaired by the white coat effect. To reduce this influence as well as inter- and intra-day variations, our work aims to investigate the assessment of orthostatic reactions in free-living environments. We collected IMU and ECG data of seven healthy participants over four days and evaluated differences in orthostatic reactions between standardized tests at lab, at home, as well as unsupervised recordings during real-world conditions. Except for the first lab recording, we detected significant changes in heart rate due to postural transitions in all recording settings, with the strongest response occurring during standardized tests at home. Our findings show that real-world assessment of orthostatic reactions is possible and provides comparable results to supervised assessments in lab settings. Additionally, our results indicate high inter- and intra-day variability which motivates the continuous orthostatic reaction measurement over the span of multiple days. We are convinced that our presented approach provides a first step towards unobtrusive assessment of orthostatic reactions in real-world environments, which might enable a more reliable early detection of disorders of the autonomic nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6987-6990
Number of pages4
JournalAnnual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Annual International Conference
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


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