Wearable gps and accelerometer technologies for monitoring mobility and physical activity in neurodegenerative disorders: A systematic review

Mícheál Ó Breasail, Bijetri Biswas, Matthew D. Smith, Md Khadimul A. Mazhar, Emma Tenison, Anisha Cullen, Fiona E. Lithander, Anne Roudaut, Emily J. Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Neurodegenerative disorders (NDDs) constitute an increasing global burden and can significantly impair an individual’s mobility, physical activity (PA), and independence. Remote monitoring has been difficult without relying on diaries/questionnaires which are more challenging for people with dementia to complete. Wearable global positioning system (GPS) sensors and accelerometers present a cost‐effective and noninvasive way to passively monitor mobility and PA. In addition, changes in sensor‐derived outcomes (such as walking behaviour, sedentary, and active activity) may serve as potential biomarkers of disease onset, progression, and response to treatment. We performed a systematic search across four databases to identify papers published within the past 5 years, in which wearable GPS or accelerometers were used to monitor mobility or PA in patients with common NDDs (Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, motor neuron diseases/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, vascular parkinsonism, and vascular dementia). Disease and technologyspecific vocabulary were searched singly, and then in combination, identifying 4985 papers. Following deduplication, we screened 3115 papers and retained 28 studies following a full text review. One study used wearable GPS and accelerometers, while 27 studies used solely accelerometers in NDDs. GPS‐derived measures had been validated against current gold standard measures in one Parkinson’s cohort, suggesting that the technology may be applicable to other NDDs. In contrast, accelerometers are widely utilised in NDDs and have been operationalised in well‐designed clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8261
Number of pages18
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Accelerometry
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • GPS
  • Movement/mobility
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Physical activity
  • Remote monitoring
  • Sensors
  • Wearable technology

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