Introducing AI-based pose detection for digital physical rehabilitation

Abto Software
4 min readApr 26, 2023

Applying camera-based motion analysis for digital MSK rehabilitation

Introducing AI-based pose detection by Abto Software

AI-powered human pose detection or estimation is an advanced technique, which involves artificial intelligence to identify the position of human body parts (biceps, forearms, thighs, calves, and more) in images and videos.

AI-powered human pose detection enables computers to interpret visual information by using computer vision, in particular object detection, image segmentation, and other sophisticated techniques.

The 101 of digital pose detection

In the prior days, before today’s computational advancements, pose estimation was typically done manually. This required expensive cameras, special markers and sensors, and technically trained personnel to assist.

It goes without saying that without computational technology, pose detection has required great expertise. Involved analysts had to be able to understand the mechanics of movement in order to identify body motion and track the changes in posture and position.

In addition, manual analysis was prone to errors, as the same movements could be interpreted differently.

Built-in cameras (smartphones, tablets) along with artificial intelligence are now significantly revolutionizing human scanning — computer analysis eliminates limitations providing accuracy and consistency.

The adoption of virtual motion analysis

Telehealth and telemedicine solutions are becoming more and more popular among physicians and patients, and the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the main drivers:

  • 65 percent of respondents (practicing physicians in the United States) haven’t used telehealth software before the COVID-19 crisis
  • 43 percent of respondents started seeing their patients by using telehealth software at the peak times of the COVID-19 outburst — Statista, 2022

AI human pose estimation is also gaining momentum, and there are multiple growth factors worth mentioning.

  • The evolvement of technology
  • The availability of large-scale annotated datasets
  • The popularization of wearables
  • The need for data-driven clinical decision-making
  • The prevalence of common musculoskeletal disorders
  • The emergence of personalized treatment programs

The benefits of using AI-based pose detection in rehabilitation

As part of a telerehabilitation platform, computer vision assessment can:

1. Release the physical therapist from resource-intense routine tasks

The platform can digitize and visualize the execution of exercises — the movements are tracked and evaluated to provide practical guidelines and facilitate quick recovery, which improves patient outcomes and satisfaction:

  • By executing the exercises in front of the phone’s camera, the patients can receive real-time feedback to adjust their movements and prevent potential injuries
  • By reviewing the results after scheduling an appointment, the professionals can evaluate the progress and refine the program

2. Help the physical therapist detect early MSK problems

The platform can provide instant analysis to prevent and ensure timely treatment of common MSK problems:

  • Muscle and ligament strain
  • Disc rupture
  • Neck tension
  • Chest compression
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Mechanical back syndrome

The conditions of utilizing AI-powered pose estimation

The process is easy as ABC:

  • Fix the background scene and camera: The distance to camera, the position of camera, stable lighting
  • Specify the movement/exercise set that should be tracked
  • Choose the best-suiting framework (for the background scene, the camera, and exercises)

Other tips:

  • Remove any bulky objects
  • Wear skin-tight, contrasting clothing
  • Use a yoga mat in a solid color to determine the dimensions

Pose detection: The value for physicians and patients

For therapists, the benefits of using AI human pose detection is significant:

  • Simplified administration — all necessary motion data is collected, structured, analyzed, and accessible
  • Data-driven decision-making — using accurate motion data also means creating precise treatment plans
  • No hardware — a smartphone or tablet is all it needs
  • Remote support — the patients can be easily monitored from anywhere

For patients, the capabilities of modern CV body pose estimation allow to:

  • Identify errors during exercising to avoid potential injuries
  • Receive guidance during exercising to adjust performed movements
  • Analyze performance
  • Track progress

Pose estimation: The areas of use

AI real-time motion analysis software facilitates:

  • Digital therapeutics
  • Digital rehabilitation
  • Elderly care/geriatric physical therapy
  • Orthopedics and sports medicine
  • Prosthetic design and fitting
  • Surgical planning
  • Spinal rehab

CV camera-based movement analysis software benefits:

  • Patients undergoing physical therapy for rehabilitation
  • Patients with chronic conditions
  • Elderly people at risk of falls
  • Disabled people
  • Medical professionals and geriatric physical therapists

Summing up

We deliver cutting-edge technology for markerless movement capture providing accurate skeleton recognition. It can be applied across industries, including the healthcare industry, surveillance, fitness, animation, gaming, and other large sectors.

Our products are designed to accelerate smooth integration into musculoskeletal rehabilitation platforms, empowering personal physical therapists.

We develop modern-day technology for real-time movement assessment transforming virtual physical therapy — by leveraging artificial intelligence, we aim to replace traditionally utilized, unnecessary markers and sensors.

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Abto Software

We empower customers business with innovative software by applying science, R&D, and own IP at abtosoftware.com