DOI: 10.1177/17585732231195554 ISSN:

How do digital range of motion measurement devices ‘measure-up’ to traditional goniometry in assessing shoulder range of motion? A systematic review and meta-analysis

J Shepherd, S Hansjee, P Divall, P Raval, HP Singh
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery


Shoulder range of motion (ROM) is traditionally measured using universal goniometry. However, novel devices to measure shoulder ROM digitally are becoming increasingly available. We aimed to synthesise the current evidence to answer: 1) what technologies are currently in use? 2) Are they reliable? 3) How do they compare to goniometry?


Systematic review of the literature was conducted according to PRISMA guidelines. MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, Emcare and Cochrane databases were searched to identify studies comparing a digital device measuring shoulder ROM to goniometry in participants > = 18years. Quality of studies was assessed using COSMIN risk of bias tool. End points included device validity compared to goniometry and intra-rater reliability.


15 articles were included, representing 372 participants and 608 shoulders, and reporting data for five device categories; infrared/RGB-D, 3D-motion-analysis, combined 3D/infra-red, 2D-video-analysis and virtual-reality. Nine studies reported mean bias and 95% limits of agreement (LOA) compared to goniometry. Pooled mean bias was −0.25 degrees (−1.25, 0.75 95% LOA, random effects model) overall. This did not differ by device type (p = 0.83), sensor or non-sensor-based devices (p = 0.62) or plane of movement (p = 0.91).


These devices compare well to goniometry and represent a possible means of increasing efficiency and facilitating telemedicine.

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