18.7.2018

Researchers at Fraunhofer AICOS (FhP-AICOS) are testing a technological solution for supporting fall prevention exercises at the physiotherapy clinic, with the help of COLABORAR volunteers. This pilot tests will allow researchers to further develop and perfect the FallSensing Clinical Application, ensuring a quality product built for future real-world use.

 

The rapid evolution of technology has allowed health professionals to deliver healthcare treatments in a new, more personalized and engaging way. The FallSensing Clinical Application aims to do just that, by being a technological solution that allows an objective analysis of fall prevention exercises, personalized exercise prescription and progression assessment overtime, in a way that promotes active participation from both the physiotherapist and the patient.

This tool is now undergoing a month-long pilot test with the help of eight members of our COLABORAR network (a network of volunteers that regularly participate in usability tests, focus groups, demonstrations, questionnaires and interviews at FhP-AICOS) and Juliana Moreira, a physiotherapist of the Coimbra Health School.

Twice a week, volunteers are joining the physiotherapist at FhP-AICOS' Living Lab, where they are undergoing a series of physiotherapy sessions using the FallSensing system.

Following instructions for each exercise on the screen, patients are able to engage in the session in a more active way, thanks to the feedback received during the exercises and the awareness of preventive strategies to reduce falls.

In turn, the physiotherapist is able to select individual exercise plans based on the user’s profile and previous history, thus providing a 'tailor made' treatment capable of generating the best results, and receive real time continuous feedback on mobility, strength and balance thanks to the motorization of the exercises with wearable inertial sensors and a pressure platform.

These tests aim to adjust requirements of the system to a real usage scenario, as for example, the maximum duration of each session, the number of teaching sessions, and the time required to learn the fall prevention exercise plan. Researchers also intend to evaluate the results of the implementation of the exercise plan in terms of reducing the risk of falls. This pilot will also serve to assess the usability and user acceptance of the system.

The team will continue the trials over the next week, seeking to further develop and perfect the FallSensing Clinical Application, ensuring a quality product built for future real-world use.