Five students, three study visits and a new vision for capturing frailty status
Living independently and remaining an active actor in the society is very important for older people, but as their health is deteriorating, it becomes a challenge to keep the status quo. One of the ageing-related side effects is frailty. A common clinical syndrome in older adults, frailty carries an increased risk for poor health outcomes including falls, incident disability, and hospitalization. As more than 20 percent of the world’s population will be aged over 60 years by 2050, the number of people diagnosed with frailty is projected to increase, pointing to the need for an urgent solution.
Keeping in line with its focus, EIT Health has supported an international project, FRAIL, led by the Technical University of Munich in cooperation with Qolware, CapDigital, MADoPA and IMEC. The FRAIL project aims to develop a smartwatch app that supports elderly individuals who are in a pre-frail or frail state. By monitoring falls, level of physical activity and interruption of routine activities, FRAIL will help detect the onset of frailty and prevent its consequences.
Nine months into the project, the Technical University of Munich is organizing an exchange program, giving students the opportunity to learn how innovative technology can affect healthy aging. As part of this program, five students interested in the combination of wearables and health, will visit the digital health startup Qolware, the Department of Human Movement Science from Technical University of Munich and the Department of Electronics and Informatics from the Free University of Brussels, during three weeks in September and October.
The first visit was at Qolware where they learned about the state-of-the-art tools for frail assessment, conducted a product research, and participated in designing the user interface and a mockup of the app.
We hope the remaining two visits will be fruitful as the first one and that the FRAIL project will open a new approach to integrate wearable technology and mobile health to capture frailty status.
For more information please visit the project’s website.