Biosensing in multiple sclerosis

Expert Rev Med Devices. 2017 Nov;14(11):901-912. doi: 10.1080/17434440.2017.1388162. Epub 2017 Oct 23.


The goal of using wearable biosensors in multiple sclerosis (MS) is to provide outcome metrics with higher sensitivity to deficits and better inter-test and inter-rater reliability than standard neurological exam bedside maneuvers. A wearable biosensor not only has the potential to enhance physical exams, but also offers the promise of remote evaluations of the patient either at home or with local non-specialist providers. Areas covered: We performed a structured literature review on the use of wearable biosensors in studies of multiple sclerosis. This included accelerometers, gyroscopes, eye-trackers, grip sensors, and multi-sensors. Expert commentary: Wearable sensors that are sensitive to change in function over time have great potential to serve as outcome metrics in clinical trials. Key features of generalizability are simplicity in the application of the device and delivery of data to the provider. Another important feature to establish is best sampling rate. Having too high of a sampling rate can lead to over-interpretation of noisy data On the other hand, a low sampling rate can result in an insensitive test thus missing subtle changes of clinical interest. Of most importance is to establish metrics derived from wearable devices that provide meaningful data in longitudinal studies.

Keywords: Accelerometer; biosensor; eye-tracking; gyroscope; multiple sclerosis; physical activity; review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry
  • Biosensing Techniques
  • Disease Progression
  • Fitness Trackers
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Wearable Electronic Devices*