Assistive Technologies and Medical Engineering

Background and research question

AEQUIPA is a regional research network for prevention of the Bremen-Oldenburg metropolitan region. The network's core themes are physical activity as a key contributor to healthy ageing, and health equity aspects of the different physical activity interventions under investigation. AEQUIPA will employ theory-based empirical research to develop, implement and evaluate relevant interventions in a primary prevention context. With five subprojects, AEQUIPA aims to strengthen the evidence base for preventive physical activity in the context of healthy ageing, yielding new insights into environmental, social-contextual and individual conditions for persons aged 65+ to engage in physical activity. Furthermore, the network aims to develop new approaches for understanding and monitoring the impact of physical activity preventive interventions on health equity, and to investigate the role of new technologies in supporting physical activity in the target group of older adults.

The aim of this subproject (TP4) is to explore new and interlinked technologies for individual health care in primary prevention. For this purpose, a combination of sensors for the support of preventive measures is developed and evaluated using the example of an early detection and technology-supported intervention for the counteracting of creeping functional degradation. By adapting the user interface to the user, social hurdles are to be overcome so that prevention measures can be made more individual and more efficient.

Approach

Established sensors (such as the aTUG or ground force measuring plates) and geriatric assessments (such as the Stair Climb Power Test or the 6 minute walk test) are evaluated for their suitability for prevention measures. At the same time, new measurement techniques are developed based on inertial sensors for the purpose of group-specific motion analysis and prediction. The user interface will be adaptable to specific socioeconomic requirements.

Within two studies the technologies are developed and evaluated. VERSA (prediction for maintaining self-employment in old age) is a study in which 251 persons are screened for their functional degradation. In addition to a comprehensive geriatric assessment, this also uses new technologies for recording physical activity under everyday conditions.

Funding and cooperation

The BMBF-Project AEQUIPA is funded between 02/2015 and 01/2018.

Partners

  • OFFIS Institute of Computer Science
  • University hospital for geriatrics, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
  • Department of Health Services Research, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
  • Jade University of Applied Sciences Wilhelmshaven / Oldenburg / Elsfleth
  • Center for Social Policy, University of Bremen