Toward Automating Clinical Assessments: A Survey of the Timed Up and Go

IEEE Rev Biomed Eng. 2015;8:64-77. doi: 10.1109/RBME.2015.2390646. Epub 2015 Jan 12.


Older adults often suffer from functional impairments that affect their ability to perform everyday tasks. To detect the onset and changes in abilities, healthcare professionals administer standardized assessments. Recently, technology has been utilized to complement these clinical assessments to gain a more objective and detailed view of functionality. In the clinic and at home, technology is able to provide more information about patient performance and reduce subjectivity in outcome measures. The timed up and go (TUG) test is one such assessment recently instrumented with technology in several studies, yielding promising results toward the future of automating clinical assessments. Potential benefits of technological TUG implementations include additional performance parameters, generated reports, and the ability to be self-administered in the home. In this paper, we provide an overview of the TUG test and technologies utilized for TUG instrumentation. We then critically review the technological advancements and follow up with an evaluation of the benefits and limitations of each approach. Finally, we analyze the gaps in the implementations and discuss challenges for future research toward automated self-administered assessment in the home.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry* / instrumentation
  • Accelerometry* / methods
  • Accelerometry* / standards
  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory* / instrumentation
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory* / methods
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory* / standards
  • Patient Outcome Assessment*