Development of method for quantifying essential tremor using a small optical device

Kai Hsiang Chen, Po Chieh Lin, Yu Jung Chen, Bing-Shiang Yang*, Chin Hsien Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Clinical assessment scales are the most common means used by physicians to assess tremor severity. Some scientific tools that may be able to replace these scales to objectively assess the severity, such as accelerometers, digital tablets, electromyography (EMG) measurement devices, and motion capture cameras, are currently available. However, most of the operational modes of these tools are relatively complex or are only able to capture part of the clinical information; furthermore, using these tools is sometimes time consuming. Currently, there is no tool available for automatically quantifying tremor severity in clinical environments. New method: We aimed to develop a rapid, objective, and quantitative system for measuring the severity of finger tremor using a small portable optical device (Leap Motion). Results: A single test took 15 s to conduct, and three algorithms were proposed to quantify the severity of finger tremor. The system was tested with four patients diagnosed with essential tremor. Comparison with existing method: The proposed algorithms were able to quantify different characteristics of tremor in clinical environments, and could be used as references for future clinical assessments. Conclusions: A portable, easy-to-use, small-sized, and noncontact device (Leap Motion) was used to clinically detect and record finger movement, and three algorithms were proposed to describe tremor amplitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-83
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2016


  • Clinical assessment
  • Essential tremor
  • Motion capture
  • Severity
  • Tremor evaluation algorithm

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