• Title: Sit2Stand: Assessing Health and Mobility from Smartphone Videos
  • Speakers: Melissa Boswell, PhD, Stanford University
  • Time: Wednesday, June 21, 2023 at 9:00 AM Pacific Time

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Physical function decline due to aging or disease can be assessed with quantitative motion analysis, but this currently requires expensive laboratory equipment. To address this limitation, Drs. Boswell and Kidziński developed a platform ( to deploy a nationwide at-home biomechanics study that included an order of magnitude more participants than traditional laboratory studies. With this large dataset, we explored new relationships between biomechanical parameters and measures of health and well-being.

In the first part of this webinar, Dr. Boswell will present their web application to capture and automatically analyze self-collected at-home videos of the five-repetition sit-to-stand test. From a single smartphone video, the tool estimates joint locations (via OpenPose), and then computes the total time to complete the test and several relevant biomechanical parameters, like trunk angle. She will review the research study results, motion capture validation, and translation of their tool into an ongoing decentralized clinical trial. In the second part of this webinar, Dr. Boswell will share how to use the Sit2Stand tool for your own data collection and implement their processing and analysis pipelines. Finally, she will conclude with best practices and pitfalls of conducting large-scale digital studies.

This webinar is for those interested in contributing to a future where simple, scalable movement assessments are used to evaluate health and treat musculoskeletal diseases.

Boswell, M.A.*, Kidziński, Ł.*, Hicks, J.L. et al. Smartphone videos of the sit-to-stand test predict osteoarthritis and health outcomes in a nationwide study. npj Digit. Med. 6, 32 (2023). *Authors contributed equally.

This webinar is offered jointly with the Restore Center, an NIH-funded Medical Rehabilitation Research Resource Network Center at Stanford University.

Our Speaker

Melissa Boswell, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Melissa Boswell is a postdoctoral scholar in Bioengineering at Stanford University. She is passionate about measuring mobility as a biomarker, motivating movement, and increasing access to health care through data-driven digital tools. Her research bridges advancements across bioengineering, psychology, and computer science to understand and tackle significant problems in human health.  She values human-centered design and a holistic, lifestyle-focused approach to engineering and medicine. She also enjoys cultivating creativity and humor in work and life, sharing ideas, entrepreneurship, and communicating science, particularly on her podcast, Biomechanics On Our Minds.

Dr. Boswell received her PhD from Stanford University, where she developed and deployed tools for large-scale access to biomechanical assessments. She received several awards for her PhD work, including the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program Fellowship, the Gerald J. Lieberman Fellowship, and the World Congress of Biomechanics Young Researcher Award. You can learn more about Dr. Boswell and her work at

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