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2015-2018 Adaptive assistive rehabilitative technology: Beyond the clinic (AART-BC) - EPSRC

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:

  • Tattoo-like sensors used to monitor the location of an individual and/or their walking aid indoors (University of Kent)
  • Inertial sensor-based approaches to monitoring the characteristic patterns of movement of wheelchair and walking aid users (University of Salford, UCL and University of Warwick)
  • An app for the evaluation of walking aid use from the patients’ perspective (University of York)
  • A web-based platform for the integration of data from the various systems above (University of Warwick)

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.

AART-BC Rollator

A rollator with an inertial sensor mounted on the seat.

  1. Cheng T, Kenney L, Amor J, Thies S, Costamagna E, James C, Holloway C. Characterisation of rollator use using inertial sensors.  IET Healthcare Letters 2016; 3(4):303-309.
  2. James C, Amor J, Kenney L, Cheng T, Holloway AART-BC: A sensor system for monitoring Assistive Technology use beyond the clinic. Proc. IEEE EMBS 2016: 3151-4.