As part of the FallSensing project, researchers conducted a study with the aim of developing a multifactor solution for fall risk assessment. A customized therapeutic exercise prescription plan to prevent falls in the elderly was developed and tested by older adults.
This project is being developed by the Consortium formed by the Fraunhofer Portugal Research Centre for Assistive Communication and Information Solutions (Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS), Sensing Future Technologies, SA and the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, through ESTeSC – Escola Superior de Health Technology of Coimbra. The application can be viewed on a computer or monitor and is being developed by Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS. The therapeutic exercise plan is personalized to each older adult, according to he initial fall risk assessment and performance in exercises. The app is intended to be used in clinical context as a tool for physiotherapists. Therefore, a physiotherapist from the Consortium was at Fraunhofer AICOS during 15 sessions to apply the therapeutic plan to participants in the tests. Participants were COLABORAR’s volunteers and completed the plan, which included initial and final fall risk assessment and exercises for fall prevention.
A big thank you to COLABORAR’s volunteers.
Volunteers from the user network COLABORAR are collaborating with us in a project that aims to disseminate research activities we usually carry at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS.
We are recording different moments of our work at the research centre: visits to day-care centres, tests at the Living Lab, interviews for qualitative analysis, etc. We are also interviewing participants and technical-directors of partner day-care centres.
We will reveal more details about this soon.
A new application for the SmartCompanion system is being tested.
A low-fidelity prototype, that is to say a paper prototype, is being presented to older adults in the network. We invited participants to our Living Lab at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS and expect to know their opinions.
After these tests, the student will implement the application in the smartphone.
Fraunhofer AICOS’ SmartBEAT was tested by a group of users from our user network COLABORAR.
The user-friendly interfaces were used by seniors and pre-seniors at the Living Lab. Researchers conducted observation evaluations of participants. The tasks included performing measures of vital signs, responding to questionnaires and managing timely reminders of medication.
This study was very important, as researchers could understand if there are any issue to improve in what concerns to usability and user experience.
You can get more information about SmartBEAT here:
COLABORAR organized a session of tests for the project Active@Home.
Within this project, television games for physical exercise and fall prevention are being designed and developed. Users must use some sensors to detect physical movements, as well. In this first test session with real end users, researchers tested the acceptance of the demo and collected some datasets using the sensors.
Participants seemed to enjoy and we are grateful for the precious help!
We are very glad to announce that COLABORAR recently completed 2000 research activities!
It represents a great accomplishment and we are very grateful to each person who contributed with their time and willingness to participate. The number of activities is proportional to the increase in knowledge and experience in the field of Human-Computer Interaction. Therefore, we are getting better in doing research with and for older adults and our projects become better with the knowledge about seniors.
A big thank you! We’ll keep making more and more activities with your collaboration, for sure!
Last week, COLABORAR welcomed at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS a group of volunteers to test the most recent application of message writing on the smartphone developed in the scope of a new project.
Researchers had been working on it for the last months and then decided to show in first hand to our friends, so that they could try it out and give some feedback. All participants did well, which means the application is simple and intuitive enough.
These usability test sessions are also opportunities to gather with our senior friends, get some advice and share some tips on cellphones, smartphones and tablets. And, as usual, to take some pictures!
If we add a playful component through games to the conventional gymnastics exercises, the result is a platform of serious games. It is so called because they are games and because they have a serious purpose: fall prevention.
Falls are an important problem among the elders. According to Sociedade Portuguesa de Ortopedia e Traumatologia, 30% of seniors have experienced a fall at least once. Our proximity to the seniors of the user network COLABORAR allows us know that 52% of the COLABORAR’s seniors have also experienced a fall, at least once. In addition to the high mortality and morbidity rates, the fear of falling is a serious concern among seniors and can even limit their activities.
The games of the ExerGames, developed in the scope of the Fall Competence Center (FCC) of Fraunhofer Portugal, were developed so that elders can perform exercises of muscle strengthening and balance training at home and have fun doing while doing it, reducing their fall risk.
In this testing phase, researchers want to know if all games are intuitive and, on the other hand, if the functioning is appropriate, bearing in mind that there are different patterns of use.
A group of volunteers have already tested the ExerGames: both the user interfaces and the execution of the gym workouts. For these testing sessions, we had the new TV interfaces and a platform that enables full-body tracking and body balance. The integration of this platform in the ExerGames was made in the scope of a master thesis entitled ExerBalance and received an excellent feedback from the participants as well. The ExerBalance might be used in the future, in the process of rehabilitation of persons with balance instability.
Do you already know the Living Lab of Fraunhofer AICOS?
In this laboratory you can see the most recent applications for smartphones, tablets and televisions, watch videos of several projects and participate in an important phase of scientific projects: the validation and usability tests.
To participate, please sign up here.
For the first time, we welcomed two groups of seniors at Fraunhofer’s facilities in order to participate in usability tests for two projects. This way, we opened the Living Lab that was purposefully built for testing and user research in an environment rendering reality.