Interactive game for geriatric rehabilitation uses gait analysis to adapt the intervention



Scientific studies show that the reduction in gait speed in the senior population is associated with some problems such as falls, urinary incontinence, cognitive impairment, increased risk of disability and overall mortality rates. Considering these indicators, VITAAL was born, an international project of 1.6 million euros, aimed at the senior population in order to respond to these problems. VITAAL is a project financed by the European Commission under the Active and Assisted Living Program.

Developed by Fraunhofer AICOS, in partnership with companies, clinics and universities in Belgium, Canada and Switzerland, VITAAL is an integrated solution for geriatric rehabilitation, assessment and customization of interventions, consisting of two main components: a serious interactive game and a clinical portal. The system allows the training of multiple motor and cognitive functions, and uses gait analysis to adapt the intervention. Gait and interaction with the game are assessed using sensors placed on the shoes. Being based on web technologies, the system allows to respond to barriers of accessibility, discontinuity and lack of resources normally associated with rehabilitation in clinics. After completing the development and user-centered usability study, the project now begins the intervention study, which aims to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of the interventions. The project foresees the participation of at least 96 users with urinary incontinence, cognitive impairment or mobility problems. The study has already started in Switzerland, and will soon also start in Belgium and Canada.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which delayed the usability studies, the project has suffered an extension of the development phase. An extension of 6 months was approved both at central and national level.