Accuracy of Wearable Sensor Technology in Hand Goniometry: A Systematic Review

Francisco R. Avila, Rickey E. Carter, Christopher J. McLeod, Charles J. Bruce, Davide Giardi, Gunel Guliyeva, Antonio J. Forte

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Wearable devices and sensor technology provide objective, unbiased range of motion measurements that help health care professionals overcome the hindrances of protractor-based goniometry. This review aims to analyze the accuracy of existing wearable sensor technologies for hand range of motion measurement and identify the most accurate one. Methods: We performed a systematic review by searching PubMed, CINAHL, and Embase for studies evaluating wearable sensor technology in hand range of motion assessment. Keywords used for the inquiry were related to wearable devices and hand goniometry. Results: Of the 71 studies, 11 met the inclusion criteria. Ten studies evaluated gloves and 1 evaluated a wristband. The most common types of sensors used were bend sensors, followed by inertial sensors, Hall effect sensors, and magnetometers. Most studies compared wearable devices with manual goniometry, achieving optimal accuracy. Although most of the devices reached adequate levels of measurement error, accuracy evaluation in the reviewed studies might be subject to bias owing to the use of poorly reliable measurement techniques for comparison of the devices. Conclusion: Gloves using inertial sensors were the most accurate. Future studies should use different comparison techniques, such as infrared camera–based goniometry or virtual motion tracking, to evaluate the performance of wearable devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-348
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • bend sensor
  • goniometer accuracy
  • hand goniometry
  • hand range of motion
  • hand rehabilitation
  • inertial sensor
  • manual goniometry
  • sensor glove
  • sensor technology
  • wearable sensor technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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