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.
We have just tested new serious interactive games. These games are focused on pelvic floor muscle training and aim at tackling urinary incontinence, as well as mobility and cognitive impairments.
The games are TV-based and inertial sensors are placed in specific parts of the body to monitor movement in real time. COLABORAR volunteers participated in the testing phase of this project, in which a masters’ student from Multimedia Communication added an important contribution and, on the other side, he used the work within this project as part of his masters’ thesis to submit to the university.
Thank you to all volunteers who participated!
COGNISTIM is a new project under development at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS.
COGNISTIM is a mobile application combined with special glasses and it enables seniors to experience virtual reality through stimulation games. These games were designed to stimulate both physical and cognitive systems of older adults. We have a Master’s student from the University of Coimbra doing his master´s thesis within this project. The student developed the app and now he is testing it with COLABORAR volunteers.
We brought the equipment to a day-care centre and it was amazing to provide older adults with a totally new experience. These tests were great! We hope to introduce more seniors to virtual reality 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.
The topic of validation studies of technology-based medical devices with users was hilighted in a meeting with the members of MDevNet.
MDevNet is an initiative led by Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS that gathers many R&D institutions, industry, academia, public entities and end-user representatives. What brings the partners in the network together is their active involvement in the process of valuing technology transfer of technology-based medical devices.
The meeting was organized around three themes:
- clarification of legal issues associated with medical devices;
- obstacles and promotion of mechanisms for interaction between national entities involved in the process of co-development and validation of medical devices and
- effectiveness of technology transfer processes.
One of the topics was related to validation studies of medical devices with users and all the certification process.
In general, the conclusion of the meeting was that more information about regulations, processes and formalities is needed.
In thelast few years, research on activity monitoring and exercises for falls prevention has been developed at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS. Recently, we have a student who has been developing her master thesis in this area.
Now it’s time to make some tests. COLABORAR recruited a group of volunteers to help us out in this important task. Volunteers participated in this research activity by performing walking exercises.
Thank you to all participants for giving us your time and for being part of the research.
COLABORAR attended the “Ethics Committee of the University of Porto Day” on April 11 at Salão Nobre of Oporto University Rectorate building.
The new Academic Code of Ethical Conduct of the University of Porto was offically presented in this event. It is of our interest to fully comply with the highest ethical standards and regulations regarding ethical issues in research. Our aim is to maintain excellence and integrity in conducting research, respecting the rights and dignity of others.
In this event we got to know the general principles to which we intend to adhere when conducting research activities. We were presented with a paper copy of the ethics code, which will be made available in digital format as well.
We have more news about FallSensing. This project that aims to develop tools for fall risk assessment, falls monitoring and prevention had many advances through the past months.
Researchers and designers together created new games and couldn’t wait to test them! With the help of the volunteers in the user network COLABORAR, for sure. Therefore, we went to a living centre in Porto and organized some research activities. We started with the recruitment of participants, and then we applied tests and questionnaires to assess the fall risk of each user. Then, we scheduled tests with users at the centre. Both fall risk assessment and exercises for prevention were accompanied by a physiterapist. Researchers took notes of some details related to usability issues while seniors were playing the games. Researchers were also paying attention to questions related to comfort of body sensors that older adults were using to capture movements during the game, enabling the evaluation of their performance.
The feedback from users was great, as they said they enjoyed playing in group with their friends. The laughts also indicate that they had a good time playing the FallSensing games. The team could not be as happy with the success of FallSensing!
Smart Companion, the android customization for smartphones targeting older adults, enables the collection of data related to physical activity. In order to provide an easy and effective way to analyze the data collected, a web application was developed.
Then, tests with possible end-users was carried out so to verify that the user easily catches relevant information from the application. Participants answered to a questionnaire about the habits of the predefined Smart Companion users.
This work was carried out in the scope of the master thesis entitled “DActivPR – Daily Activity Pattern Recognition Tool“.
A new web app for CordonGris project was tested by Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS‘ researchers with the participation of COLABORAR volunteers.
The new app for seniors enables the creation of a profile for each user, by introducing data such as Anthropometric data, Physical activity, Food preferences and restrictions. Then, the app provides a personalized reccomendation meal plan for each user, according to the information introduced.The system was built with senior friendly interfaces, so that users can easily use it.
Participants gave excellent feedback about the app, since they consider it may assist older adults so to they maintain a healthy and independent life.