Commercially available pressure sensors for sport and health applications: A comparative review

Louise Burnie*, Nachiappan Chockalingam, Alex Holder, Tim Claypole, Liam Kilduff, Neil E. Bezodis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Pressure measurement systems have numerous applications in healthcare and sport. The purpose of this review is to: (a) describe the brief history of the development of pressure sensors for clinical and sport applications, (b) discuss the design requirements for pressure measurement systems for different applications, (c) critique the suitability, reliability, and validity of commercial pressure measurement systems, and (d) suggest future directions for the development of pressure measurements systems in this area. Commercial pressure measurement systems generally use capacitive or resistive sensors, and typically capacitive sensors have been reported to be more valid and reliable than resistive sensors for prolonged use. It is important to acknowledge, however, that the selection of sensors is contingent upon the specific application requirements. Recent improvements in sensor and wireless technology and computational power have resulted in systems that have higher sensor density and sampling frequency with improved usability – thinner, lighter platforms, some of which are wireless, and reduced the obtrusiveness of in-shoe systems due to wireless data transmission and smaller data-logger and control units. Future developments of pressure sensors should focus on the design of systems that can measure or accurately predict shear stresses in conjunction with pressure, as it is thought the combination of both contributes to the development of pressure ulcers and diabetic plantar ulcers. The focus for the development of in-shoe pressure measurement systems is to minimise any potential interference to the patient or athlete, and to reduce power consumption of the wireless systems to improve the battery life, so these systems can be used to monitor daily activity. A potential solution to reduce the obtrusiveness of in-shoe systems include thin flexible pressure sensors which can be incorporated into socks. Although some experimental systems are available further work is needed to improve their validity and reliability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102046
Number of pages10
Early online date11 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023

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