Original research article
Porto Biomed. J. 2017; 2(1): 18-22 doi: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1016/j.pbj.2016.11.004 (Published 27 December 2016)

Evaluation of spinal posture using Microsoft Kinect™: A preliminary case-study with 98 volunteers

A.P.G. Castroa,b, *, J.D. Pachecoa, C. Lourenço, S. Queirósa, A.H.J. Moreiraa, N.F. Rodriguesa,c , J.L. Vilaçaa,c

ICVS/3B's – PT Government Associate Laboratory, Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Health Sciences, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
INSIGNEO Institute for in Silico Medicine, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom
DIGARC – Digital Games Research Centre, Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave (IPCA), Campus IPCA, Barcelos, Portugal
*Corresponding author:
Accepted 28 November 2016
This work proposes a novel approach to assess spinal curvature, by using Microsoft's Kinect™ to obtain 3D reconstructed models of subject's dorsal skin surface in different postures. This method is non-invasive, radiation-free and low-cost.

The trial tests here presented intended to evaluate the reliability of this approach, by assessing the tendency of 98 volunteers to present scoliosis. The shoulder height difference was calculated for each subject's scan, by quantifying the angular slope of a line crossing both scapulae.

The volunteers’ average age was 24.7 years. Results showed that 68.37% of the volunteers revealed differences higher than 1° between the shoulders, having that their record in what concerns to loads and lesions proved to increase the angular slope. This initial approach shall establish the grounds for assessing spinal posture in pre-clinical or industrial ergonomics scans. Further studies shall include comparison versus traditional imaging methods and experienced clinical evaluation.
Spine; Ergonomics; Microsoft Kinect™; Posture; Scoliosis; Trial experimental study
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