Monitoring robotic walker users with mobility problems by means of werable sensors
Type of activity
AGENCIA ESTATAL DE INVESTIGACION
Funding entity code
The ageing of the Europe population is provoking a very profound change in society and models of public services. In Spain, it is expected that in 2060 38.7% (16 million) of the population will be over 65 years of age and 54.5% (8 million) of them will be over 80 years old. On the other hand, 30% of the population over 65 years of age present some type of moderate-severe limitation and 9.1% of the total population presents difficulties in basic activities. These forecasts make it necessary to make a greater effort to change the models of those public services sensitive to this demographic evolution, such as health or pensions, not only from an economic and sustainability point of view, but also to improve those services especially focused on this sector. One of the public services that most suffer the consequences of this gradual aging is public health. Given the enormous costs that the care for the dependent population entails for the health system, the possibility of anticipating situations of dependency or disability to intervene and to avoid or postpone them is currently being studied. In addition, special attention is given to the early identification of adverse health effects in elderly patients, since treating them at the onset may prevent subsequent complications. In this sense, prevention and early action is one of the best weapons to avoid situations of dependency. The objective of this project is the development and validation of a monitoring system that provides continuous information of clinical utility on the state of the robotic walker user. This project proposes the use of wearable sensors in order to: I) obtain information from the user on a continuous basis to adapt the control deployed in the walker to their needs; II) provide useful information to clinicians on the evolution of the health status of users. To this end, the wearable system will continuously monitor and evaluate the user based on the automatic estimation of different clinical scales. Movement parameters will be extracted, such as gait, balance and postural transitions parameters. In addition, the possibility of measuring stress, of special importance in the use of robotic walkers, will be explored. The information obtained will be useful for clinical staff, but also for the walker, as it will be able to estimate the status of the user and adapt the help offered on an ongoing basis. Aid adaptation entails improved user acceptance and improved autonomy, as well as preventing the loss of residual capacities resulting from oversupply. The project will result in a new system of wearable sensors with the objective of monitoring the activity of people with mobility problems and offering relevant and quality clinical information. Therefore, the present project is framed within Challenge 1 "Health, demographic change and well-being". The most noteworthy developments are: I) continuous monitoring of the user's state using non-invasive sensors at any time and place; II) risk estimation and prevention; (III) automatic retrieval of clinical scales.