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 platform for physical and cognitive training was developed at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS within the project Active@Home.
Usability tests were carried out at the Living Lab to help researchers test user interfaces for TV and inertial sensors. Participants were very committed and helped researchers find improvement points.
We all had a good time playing the games and learning with older adults.
In a presentation about SmartCompanion, the researcher Ana Vasconcelos, from Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS, hilighted the tests in which the COLABORAR volunteers have participated.
SmartCompanion is an application for smartphone specially developed for older adults, but since it is so amazing, the youngers like using the app as well! The researcher showed the way results from tests and interviews with the COLABORAR volunteers were integrated in the project, since 2011. A lot has changed since the initial prototypes. Icons and interactions were changed over the time, following older adults’ preferences and needs.
We are proud to see the work presented this way. Our thank you to all participants for helping SmartCompanion to grow.
Pressure ulcers are a complex problem that requires attention from healthcare professionals and caregivers.
Technology may be able to optimize care for patients. With this aim, a new project is underway at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS. This project is being developed by a Master’s student from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto. Patients, informal caregivers, nurses and technical directors of institutions participated in interviews that will be valuable for understanding the complexities of this problem. COLABORAR gave a helping hand in the organization of interviews for this study.
The qualitative analsys of these interviews will enable the student and team to come up with a solution that will facilitate the care to patients with pressure ulcers.
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.
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.
GoLiveClip won the first prize in the Silver Economy Awards!
GoLiveClip is a wearable device that was developed by Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS. It is a small clip to attach in the clothes and it enables activity monitoring, fall risk analyses and fall detection; it also has an alarm button to activate in an emergency case. GoLiveClip is commerciallized by Gociety Solutions.
The prize recognizes the project as the most innovative solution and with more potential to improve older adults’ quality of life.
In the design and testing phases, older adults had a fundamental role. Thank you to all who participated!
Image: Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS