Technology solutions for physical mobility challenges

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Falls, from functional mobility impairments, can result from various factors including disease and environmental factors, and are not exclusive to the elderly. Falls and mobility impairments are often associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, obesity, and vision problems, impacting a wide range of demographics. There is a need for timely and accurate mobility assessments to inform rehabilitation strategies, thereby reducing fall risk. Traditional telemedicine-based monitoring methods such as video-based assessment are limited and not widely accessible. Typically, video calls provide limited viewing angles, amongst other operational difficulties, which can lead to inaccurate or incomplete assessments. To address that issue, contemporary research is focusing on discrete and ubiquitous approaches such as wearable technology (like insole pressure sensors and/or inertial measurement units) and associated technologies (e.g., smartphones). That provides a contemporary approach to telemedicine via the Internet of Things (IoT). Those technologies could enable pragmatic remote, continuous, and passive multi-modal monitoring. Arising free-living/habitual data could better inform interventions through biofeedback-based mechanisms in the home. Here, this chapter provides an overview of the current research in this field, including the specifications and effectiveness of wearables and smartphones for mobility-based gait assessment and rehabilitation purposes to reduce fall risk, with a focus on practicality, and cost-effectiveness. With IoT-enabled wearables, the scale and effectiveness of care for those with mobility challenges could be enhanced to improve their quality of life by mitigating the risk of falls.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Public Health
EditorsStella R. Quah
Place of PublicationAmsterdam, Netherlands
PublisherElsevier
Edition3rd
ISBN (Electronic)9780323972802
ISBN (Print)9780323999670
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Nov 2023

Cite this