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About

I was born in Porto, Portugal, in august, 1988. I have received the M.Sc. degree in bioengineering–biomedical engineering from the Engineering Faculty, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal, in 2012, where I am currently working towards the Ph.D. degree in biomedical engineering, on the subject of motor impairment characterization in a rare neurological disease - Transthyretin Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy. This PhD project is being developed with the guidance of Professor João Paulo Silva Cunha at C-BER.

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Publications

2020

Subject Identification Based on Gait Using a RGB-D Camera

Authors
Rocha, AP; Fernandes, JM; Choupina, HMP; Vilas Boas, MC; Cunha, JPS;

Publication
Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing

Abstract
Biometric authentication (i.e., verification of a given subject’s identity using biological characteristics) relying on gait characteristics obtained in a non-intrusive way can be very useful in the area of security, for smart surveillance and access control. In this contribution, we investigated the possibility of carrying out subject identification based on a predictive model built using machine learning techniques, and features extracted from 3-D body joint data provided by a single low-cost RGB-D camera (Microsoft Kinect v2). We obtained a dataset including 400 gait cycles from 20 healthy subjects, and 25 anthropometric measures and gait parameters per gait cycle. Different machine learning algorithms were explored: k-nearest neighbors, decision tree, random forest, support vector machines, multilayer perceptron, and multilayer perceptron ensemble. The algorithm that led to the model with best trade-off between the considered evaluation metrics was the random forest: overall accuracy of 99%, class accuracy of 100±Â0%, and F 1 score of 99±Â2%. These results show the potential of using a RGB-D camera for subject identification based on quantitative gait analysis. © 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

2020

IHandU: A novel quantitative wrist rigidity evaluation device for deep brain stimulation surgery

Authors
Murias Lopes, E; Vilas Boas, MD; Dias, D; Rosas, MJ; Vaz, R; Silva Cunha, JP;

Publication
Sensors (Switzerland)

Abstract
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery is the gold standard therapeutic intervention in Parkinson’s disease (PD) with motor complications, notwithstanding drug therapy. In the intraoperative evaluation of DBS’s efficacy, neurologists impose a passive wrist flexion movement and qualitatively describe the perceived decrease in rigidity under different stimulation parameters and electrode positions. To tackle this subjectivity, we designed a wearable device to quantitatively evaluate the wrist rigidity changes during the neurosurgery procedure, supporting physicians in decision-making when setting the stimulation parameters and reducing surgery time. This system comprises a gyroscope sensor embedded in a textile band for patient’s hand, communicating to a smartphone via Bluetooth and has been evaluated on three datasets, showing an average accuracy of 80%. In this work, we present a system that has seen four iterations since 2015, improving on accuracy, usability and reliability. We aim to review the work done so far, outlining the iHandU system evolution, as well as the main challenges, lessons learned, and future steps to improve it. We also introduce the last version (iHandU 4.0), currently used in DBS surgeries at São João Hospital in Portugal. © 2020 by the authors.

2020

SnapKi—An Inertial Easy-to-Adapt Wearable Textile Device for Movement Quantification of Neurological Patients

Authors
Oliveira, A; Dias, D; Lopes, EM; Vilas Boas, MD; Silva Cunha, JPS;

Publication
Sensors

Abstract
The development of wearable health systems has been the focus of many researchers who aim to find solutions in healthcare. Additionally, the large potential of textiles to integrate electronics, together with the comfort and usability they provide, has contributed to the development of smart garments in this area. In the field of neurological disorders with motor impairment, clinicians look for wearable devices that may provide quantification of movement symptoms. Neurological disorders affect different motion abilities thus requiring different needs in movement quantification. With this background we designed and developed an inertial textile-embedded wearable device that is adaptable to different movement-disorders quantification requirements. This adaptative device is composed of a low-power 9-axis inertial unit, a customised textile band and a web and Android cross application used for data collection, debug and calibration. The textile band comprises a snap buttons system that allows the attachment of the inertial unit, as well as its connection with the analog sensors through conductive textile. The resulting system is easily adaptable for quantification of multiple motor symptoms in different parts of the body, such as rigidity, tremor and bradykinesia assessments, gait analysis, among others. In our project, the system was applied for a specific use-case of wrist rigidity quantification during Deep Brain Stimulation surgeries, showing its high versatility and receiving very positive feedback from patients and doctors.

2019

Full-body motion assessment: Concurrent validation of two body tracking depth sensors versus a gold standard system during gait

Authors
Vilas Boas, MD; Pereira Choupina, HMP; Rocha, AP; Fernandes, JM; Silva Cunha, JPS;

Publication
Journal of Biomechanics

Abstract
RGB-D cameras provide 3-D body joint data in a low-cost, portable and non-intrusive way, when compared with reference motion capture systems used in laboratory settings. In this contribution, we evaluate the validity of both Microsoft Kinect versions (v1 and v2) for motion analysis against a Qualisys system in a simultaneous protocol. Two different walking directions in relation to the Kinect (towards – WT, and away – WA) were explored. For each gait trial, measures related with all body parts were computed: velocity of all joints, distance between symmetrical joints, and angle at some joints. For each measure, we compared each Kinect version and Qualisys by obtaining the mean true error and mean absolute error, Pearson's correlation coefficient, and optical-to-depth ratio. Although both Kinect v1 and v2 and/or WT and WA data present similar accuracy for some measures, better results were achieved, overall, when using WT data provided by the Kinect v2, especially for velocity measures. Moreover, the velocity and distance presented better results than angle measures. Our results show that both Kinect versions can be an alternative to more expensive systems such as Qualisys, for obtaining distance and velocity measures as well as some angles metrics (namely the knee angles). This conclusion is important towards the off-lab non-intrusive assessment of motor function in different areas, including sports and healthcare. © 2019 Elsevier Ltd

2019

Automated measures of gait dynamics and camptocormia angle in Parkinson's disease before and after subthalamic deep brain stimulation

Authors
Soares, C; Vilas Boas, MDC; Lopes, EM; Choupina, H; Soares Dos Reis, R; Fitas, D; Cunha, JPS; Monteiro, P; Linhares, P; Rosas, MJSL;

Publication
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY

Abstract