FallSensing: fall risk assessment and exercises for fall prevention

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!

DctivPR web application for visualization of user’s physical activity information tested


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“.

Tests for Cordon Gris


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.

Celebrating World Food Day with Cordon Gris tests


Here, the World Usability Food Day was celebrated with tests to the prototype of the Cordon Gris application. The 16th October was spent at a Living Center for Seniors in Porto, testing the new web application that enables seniors to have access to meal plans according to their preferences and restrictions.


Fraunhofer is testing sensors for eating and drinking activities detection

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Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS’ researchers developed a new tool that enables the automatic detection and recognition of eating and drinking activities. The aim of this research, within the project DEMSmartMoves, is recognizing the activity pattern of each user regarding meal intake and then detect these activities. In the case the user is missing out on a meal, the system should be able to automatically send reminders to its user. A smartphone and a wearable device to be used in the wrist comprise the system, which might be very useful for older adults, who frequently miss out meals, due to forgiveness, lack of appetite or being unable to cook. This situation usually results in nutrition deficits in the old age.

After an initial set of tests with users  at a day care centre, researchers are testing again the devices with older adults. Volunteers from the user network COLABORAR took this challenge, using the sensor in the wrist for 5 hours; the test began in the morning and finished in the afternoon. Between this period, participants performed their daily activities at the centre, such as playing board games, talking, walking around and also eating lunch meal and drinking.

COLABORAR volunteers enjoyed being part of this investigation and hope that in the future, this technology will help other seniors.

New FallSensing game tested with older adults


On July 11th Fraunhofer AICOS hosted a group of older adults from a day-care center from Abiúl, near Pombal, in the center region of Portugal. Researchers from the FallSensing project were holding some tests for the new physical exercise game and COLABORAR invited Fundação Dr. José Lourenço Júnior to try out the game.

The activities at Fraunhofer included a visit to our facilities. They saw our work areas, with many computers.  Then they went to the Software Lab, the laboratory in which we usually perform tests with users. The view from the office delighted our guests, since we have open spaces with large windows and we can see some universities and research centers, as well as one of the biggest Portuguese hospitals.


The new FallSensing game is an easy, fun, physical game for fall prevention and is suited to be played by groups of three. The exercises required to play the game are based on a certified fall prevention program. The seniors from the day-care center were divided into groups to play the game. We can tell, by the laughs, that our guests enjoyed the game very much. This is a fun activity for the elderly! Furthermore, researchers tested the platform that aims to implement fall prevention programs in individuals aged 50 or older. The well known Fraunhofer‘s cognitive games for tablets named “Cogniplay” were available for seniors, over tea, juice and some biscuits.

We are happy to be able to receive at Fraunhofer AICOS real end users giving important inputs to the study. And we are glad to provide older adults from Abiúl a different and happy day.



FallSensing Clinical app: tested by older adults


COLABORAR organized the test sessions for the FallSensing project. This project results from a consortium between Fraunhofer Portugal, Sensing Future Technologies and ESTeSC – Coimbra Health School and focus on the evaluation of multiple fall risk factors and the implementation of fall prevention programs for individuals aged 50 years old or older, given that this is the population most affected by falls.

Participants arrived early and motivated to test the prototype. Researchers tested the exercises for fall risk screening and a physiotherapist from ESTeSC joined us and conducted the tests with the clinical app.  Following the instructions of the app, each participant were evaluated for their fall risk factors and then, according to their risks, the application provided a personalized exercise plan for fall prevention. Participants used inertial sensors in their legs during the exercises, so to their body movements were monitored.

This app has the potential to help people over 50 stay strong and reduce their risk for falls. We hope that in the near future it will be available!

You can see more information about FallSensing here: http://fallsensing.com/project.


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Interactive games are being used by older adults at a day care center


Older adults of a day care center in Porto are using Fraunhofer AICOS’ interactive games for physical exercise.

The software is available for seniors at Centro Social de Soutelo so that they can try out the games and have fun doing exercises specifically developed for their age and needs regarding physical exercises. These exercises promote  muscular strength, balance, mobility and flexibility in a playful way. Besides these benefits, seniors are getting to know the application of new technologies in real life; in this case, they can see their movements being tracked by the sensors in the smartphone and the indication of their performance in the game. Therefore, they can gain the sense of being integrated in nowadays digital society. At the same time, attention is required to play the game, which is positive for older adults.

With the aim of understanding the role of technology on the active aging and well being of older adults, through the promotion of autonomy and security, a study is being carried out. Volunteers are participating in the study and giving important insights on their perceptions and opinions regarding their experience of using ExerGames. Simultaneously, we are studying de factors that contribute to the motivation of seniors  to participate in activities with interactive games.

These studies are very useful to researchers and we like seeing older adults have fun while playing the ExerGames.



SmartReminders – Tests with sensors

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COLABORAR provided users to test the sensors used to detect the movements of the arm. This sensors are being used in the scope of the thesis SmartReminders, under development at Fraunhofer AICOS, with the purpose of monitoring daily activities such as eating or drinking.

The first tests were conducted with a sample of 20 seniors at a day-care centre. Participants had the sensors in their wrists while taking their meals.

Thank you all participants! You always receive us warmly at the centre!

Project DeMind: beginning of the pilot with older adults


We are glad that the pilot for the project DeMind has just  begun! The pilot is taking place in Lisbon, at Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa (SCML), a partner of COLABORAR.

This pilot aims to promote technology-based activities for seniors attending 6 day-care centres from SCML and is called “Tec-Conhecimento”. CogniPlay, the Fraunhofer AICOS‘ application for tablets of cognitive games, is available for the participants on this project. ISCTE – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa is also a project’s partner. The consortium comprised by these 3 institutions aims to study the integration of activities supported by technology, particularly tablets, on the daily habits of older adults at day-care centers and seniors’ acceptance. At the same time, usability aspects of the interfaces are also being studied.


The project began with a presentation of CogniPlay to the technical staff of the centers. This project lasts until July and we are looking forward for its results.

Note: Thank you SCML for the images.