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mFit: A Novel Sensor Fusion Platform for the Promotion of Exercise


Proper fulfillment of prescribed exercise has shown to greatly reduce the rate of patient re-admission and speed recovery of patients experiencing an array of health conditions. Currently, technology that allows doctors to monitor the fulfillment of exercise regiments requires patients to submit to expensive physical therapy and long term monitoring. An urgent need exists for low cost, rapidly deployable, and networked systems that enable monitoring of exercise activity for patients both in the clinic and at home.

The mFit exercise system utilizes modern sensor fusion techniques in conjunction with open source smartphone technologies to monitor: cadence, applied force, generated power, and dissipated energy while providing guidance and real time data to the user. The system also transmits patient data to a central server, which allows service providers to oversee patients, ensuring adherence to prescribed exercise regiments, and provide feedback as needed.

To accommodate patients in different stages of recovery, two variants of the mFit exercise system have been developed. The mFit restorator outfits a standard restorator bike with polymer force and Hall Effect sensors, enabling direct measurement of a user's force and cadence. Data is transmitted via Bluetooth to a smartphone that displays the information in an intuitive graphical user interface. The smartphone further utilizes WiFi or a mobile telecommunication network to transmit data to a central server which can be accessed by the user or a third party.

The mFit stationary cycle has been developed for patients that are prescribed more strenuous exercise routines. An inexpensive, mass market stationary cycle was modified and a strain gauge, common in most weight scales, and a photo-interrupter were added to enable force and cadence measurements. Similar to the mFit restorator, the data is transmitted to a smartphone that displays the results and simultaneously pushes the data to a central server.

In this thesis, we present the novel mFit system concept, the hardware used to develop the mFit restorator and mFit stationary cycle, as well as the software architecture which presents the required metrics. We further describe applications which interface with the mFit systems to provide guidance and measure a user's fitness level.

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