At present we have no objective data how patients interact with their walking aids once they leave the clinical or laboratory setting. This is both surprising and somewhat worrying, given the numbers of these devices in use by fall-prone frail older people.
The AART-BC project, which involves 7 universities (Warwick, Salford, UCL, Kent, Cardiff, York and Oxford-Brookes) aims to address this problem through the development of a platform for the continuous monitoring of assistive device use in the real world. The project team have developed:
Salford’s focus has been on the monitoring of rollator users and we have worked with the University of Warwick to extract data on distance travelled, pushing behaviours and surface properties from rollator and foot-mounted sensors (1,2). We will be testing the full system in 2017-18.
A rollator with an inertial sensor mounted on the seat.