Instrumented Outcome Measurements (IOM) CORE

Director : Paolo Bonato, PhD; Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital – Motion Analysis Lab

Advances in computer technologies, micro sensors and telecommunication have expanded the possibilities for assessing monitoring of an individual’s activities in ecologically-valid settings.   The Boston ROC IOM core has extensive experience developing and using IOMs in clinical research.

The IOM CORE is housed in the Motion Analysis Laboratory at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. Dr. Bonato is an nationally-recognized expert in using instrumented technology for rehabilitation research. His current research interests focus on wearable sensor technology.

Importance of IOMs as a Medical Rehabilitation Outcome:

IOM cool image

IOMs provide an exciting opportunity to expand on measures currently available for clinical trials. For example, wearable sensor systems can provide new opportunities to assess mobility in rehabilitation research studies. Current modes of mobility assessment primarily involve the assessment of physical function through performance tests or patient/clinician reports. Performance-based measures (PBMs) provide information on an individual’s capacity to perform specific, discrete tasks but do not, however, provide a direct measure of an individual’s actual involvement in mobility-related activities.

Patient/clinician reported outcome measures (PROs) are also commonly utilized to evaluate an individual’s mobility status. In these cases, individuals are asked to rate their actual performance of certain activities. While both PBMs and PROs provide useful information, IOMs can provide a detailed analysis of mobility and movement characteristics that can add to the information derived from other types of measures.

IOM applications, such as wearable sensor technology, provide a unique measure of mobility, not assessed with other measurement techniques. IOMs provide a sensitive measure and detailed analysis of movement characteristics. Moreover, contemporary IOMs using wearable wireless sensors can assess an individual’s daily activities in natural, real-life settings. IOM innovations can provide researchers with detailed analysis of mobility and movement characteristics that, previously, could only be obtained from research conducted in sophisticated laboratories settings.


To advance the use of IOMs in medical rehabilitation clinical trials and to develop new applications that increase the utility and relevance of IOMs.


Provide technical services and support for using IOMs in clinical trial research.


Spaulding Hospital’s Motion Analysis Laboratory combines laboratory and field assessments to enhance mobility.

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Instrumented Outcome Measurement References