Hip future technology and walkers – although it may not go together at first glance, this is subject of a new DFKI project: an intelligent fall prevention system aims to give seniors added safety.
"The use of walking assistants is a prerequisite for an active and independent life for many people – but their use also has its dangers," writes the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence. Risks are bad posture as well as the fact that due to cognitive impairment some seniors are no longer able to remember the correct posture over the long term. Falls can however have serious consequences in old age. This is where ModESt comes in. The "rollator module for posture detection and fall prevention" is attached to the mobility aid as a lightweight electronic box. The intelligent device checks how the user is standing relative to the walker and evaluates its findings. An "intuitive, subtle feedback" will then assist with correcting any detected posture errors.
Generally speaking, the healthcare industry is one of the most IT-savvy development areas and has high hopes for artificial intelligence. Currently there are many other ongoing research projects, such as the development of software that should be able to propose molecular structures with medical potential . After completion of the DFKI research, the aim is to use the smart rollator device for sick and elderly people with posture problems. The Ambient Assisted Living joint research project receives funding of 912,000 euros from the German Federal Ministry of Research.