In the European research project PAMAP (Physical Activity Monitoring for
Aging People), scientists of the DFKI research department “Augmented
Reality” work on a prototype, which measures the physical activities of
elderly and motivates them to stay active and healthy as retired. Within
this project, an international team of experts of sensors, biomechanics, and
medicine investigates the question: How can modern information and sensor
technology help elderly people to improve their lives?
“Our assistance system can be used for both prevention and rehabilitation”,
says Didier Stricker, the head of the DFKI research department in
Kaiserslautern. “Based on small inertial sensors, it detects the physical
activities and informs the wearer. The system can also exactly determine the
movements of the upper body using a biomechanical model of the upper body.
This can be used for specific exercises during functional rehabilitation.”
Like a fitness coach, the PAMAP system monitors the user, corrects her
movements and warns her about overstraining. Thus the system helps to
perform the exercises correctly. The recorded movements are displayed on the
TV screen. In case of incorrect execution correcting instructions, such as
“you must fully extend your arm”, are displayed.
The relevant data are stored in an electronic health record and can be
viewed later by the user and her family, and they can be analyzed by medical
specialists. The doctors and physical therapists can thus provide early
diagnosis, measure how successful therapies are, and give users interactive
assistance to follow their treatment.
“With the support of the PAMAP system, seniors can manage their health and
quality of life independently and in their known environment”, says
Medical research shows that a balanced physical activity has positive
effects on health and extends the life expectancy. The motivation to sustain
a balanced physical activity is crucial, especially for elderly people.
REHACARE.de; Source: Augmented Vision German Research Center for Artificial
Intelligence (DFKI) GmbH
– More about the Augmented Vision German Research Center for Artificial
Intelligence at www.dfki.de