Fitness Assistant

Intelligent Designed Tracksuit for Elderly People Provides Personal Health and Fitness Program

To Retain Mobility

The “Fitness Assistant“ comprises a sensor suit which collects information on its wearer´s body movements, a T-shirt for respiratory measurement, and a PDA. The latter serves as the user interface, analyzes the data collected, gives the user feedback on their physical activities and can instruct them on fitness or rehabilitation exercises. The “Fitness Assistant“ is a system designed to be used at home and help users keep fit through regular exercise. It helps improve the health of the elderly, which in view of current demographic trends poses one of the greatest challenges facing society in the 21st century.

The aim is to provide a fun way to encourage users to exercise more, thus helping them improve or at least maintain their motor abilities. Application areas include workout programs for elderly people or patients undergoing physical rehabilitation. To accommodate young users, the motion-sensing suit could also be combined with games or virtual competitions.

The Fitness Assistant System

The technology behind the sensor suit is based exclusively on triaxial accelerometers, which made it possible to reduce the size of the sensing components and embed them in clothing. One on-body central unit each is attached to the jacket and pants. Slightly larger than a business card case, these units pool collected data and transmit it to the PDA. The system can also incorporate the institute´s “RespiSHIRT“, making it possible to simultaneously measure the user’s body movements and respiration.

The “Fitness Assistant“ is accessed through a PDA, which also analyzes the data collected and provides the user with instant feedback. In addition, the “Fitness Assistant“ is designed to be easily integrated into existing telehealth infrastructure, with the PDA then serving to communicate with a human coach via a provider of telehealth services. This means that the personal exercise plan provided on the PDA can be directly monitored by therapeutically trained personnel.

FitForAge

The “Fitness Assistant“ is the result of a project that is part of the “FitForAge“ collaborative research initiative sponsored by the German Bavarian Research Foundation. Organized into three thematic strands and two cross-cutting projects, this initiative addresses the challenges presented by demographic change and an aging society. The “Fitness Assistant“ is a component of the “Fit4Mobility“ strand, which is concerned with the development of technologies and products that improve mobility.

More Information

Brochure “Medical Communication and Biosignal Processing“

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