UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Clinically Informed Automated Assessment of Finger Tapping Videos in Parkinson’s Disease Yu, Tianze; Park, Kye Won; McKeown, Martin J.; Wang, Z. Jane (Zheng Jane)


The utilization of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for assessing motor performance in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) offers substantial potential, particularly if the results can be integrated into clinical decision-making processes. However, the precise quantification of PD symptoms remains a persistent challenge. The current standard Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and its variations serve as the primary clinical tools for evaluating motor symptoms in PD, but are time-intensive and prone to inter-rater variability. Recent work has applied data-driven machine learning techniques to analyze videos of PD patients performing motor tasks, such as finger tapping, a UPDRS task to assess bradykinesia. However, these methods often use abstract features that are not closely related to clinical experience. In this paper, we introduce a customized machine learning approach for the automated scoring of UPDRS bradykinesia using single-view RGB videos of finger tapping, based on the extraction of detailed features that rigorously conform to the established UPDRS guidelines. We applied the method to 75 videos from 50 PD patients collected in both a laboratory and a realistic clinic environment. The classification performance agreed well with expert assessors, and the features selected by the Decision Tree aligned with clinical knowledge. Our proposed framework was designed to remain relevant amid ongoing patient recruitment and technological progress. The proposed approach incorporates features that closely resonate with clinical reasoning and shows promise for clinical implementation in the foreseeable future.

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