Many health specialists often compare frailty to a popular game called Jenga. The aim is to pull out one block at a time from the tower until the structure is too fragile to remain standing. As we grow older, our body does not recover as quickly as before and each infection, fall or hospital admission can be represented by one missing block on the Jenga tower, weakening the whole structure until it eventually collapses. As each and everyone of us age differently, with different genes and lifestyles, detecting the point of no return becomes extremely difficult.
In order to better understand where this point lies and how to delay it, the medical and technical partners of the FrailSafe project are working together to set up a system that collects data from new technology (ICT) devices (ex: tablet, mobile phone, beacons, dynamometer, and smart vest), then analyses the collected data to draw some patterns that will help physicians, practitioners and carers prevent frailty through early detection.
This will be made possible thanks to the FrailSafe Platform (in particular the Virtual Patient Model), where collected and analysed data will be gathered. Based on the collected data, the older person and the carers will receive tailored frailty-preventive recommendations (ex: physical activity or a notification to visit your GP).
The FrailSafe study is carried out in three pilot sites (Nicosia, Patras and Nancy) where older people have been recruited by the clinical teams to test the serious games developed by the project and the devices selected by the technical partners. Their feedback is very helpful, as it helps improve the ICT devices developed for the project. Last June, some of the volunteers in Cyprus were interviewed to discuss the study.