Enabling senior citizens to use physical exercises
Physical exercises are a powerful instrument in increasing older citizen’s self-reliance. Offering these as an intervention will result into financial savings as well. This has been demonstrated in Danish municipalities.
How can we effectively offer physical training as a support for senior citizens? The Danish company DigiRehab has developed a software platform, that supports caregivers in performing exercises with citizens. In the last couple of years this approach has proven to be effective.
In the eLIFE-project this platform will be extended with solutions for self-training. Furthermore, the software platform and methodology will be tested in other countries as well and partners will develop a viable business case.
The number of older people is increasing rapidly, and there is a growing pressure upon the delivery systems of health and social care. Municipalities and care providers feel responsible for maintaining proper levels of service delivery. And while that is a good thing, it could be better to prevent weakness and slow down deterioration.
For many years there has been good experience with this method of “reablement” in Denmark. Municipalities, having the responsibility for care, provide the required service. However, in addition to that, rehabilitation is given to the citizen. It has proven that by this rehabilitation, the cause of need for help can (partly) be removed by using a physical training program. The benefits are evident: the need for help is minimized, and people are more self-reliant. They are able to go out again. And last but not least, this approach appears to be cost-effective for the municipality.
Digital guide to exercise
DigiRehab A/S has developed a user-friendly training and monitoring IT platform – DigiRehab. DigiRehab was created to provide caregivers with a technology solution able to tailor and monitor physical rehabilitation training for senior citizens, without the need of one-to-one patient-therapist interaction from trained physiotherapists or specialist rehabilitation personnel. The DigiRehab, which is used in 30% of Danish municipalities now, provides them to scale the services of physical training to the level at which they are needed.
Since the interventions as suggested by the DigiRehab-platform appear to be effective, new ways are explored. This is done via the eLIFE-project.
In this project the DigiRehab-solution will be brought to citizens with a new channel: a mobile app, allowing them to follow the program via selftraining. The view for professionals remains the same, so a physical therapist or a manager will be able to monitor the participants at a distance. Now, municipalities can prescribe the solution in an earlier stage, leading to a better use of preventive measures.
The second part of the project is internationalization. The DigiRehab-platform has proven to be successful in Nordic countries. However, what is good for Danish or Norwegian seniors, might be good for others as well. So, within the eLIFE-project pilots are set up in Belgium and Austria. These pilots are focused on learning from the experiences of Belgian and Austrian senior citizens and professionals. Apart from these pilots, a business research will be conducted, pointing out the best options to find a viable business case in these countries with different reimbursement schemes.
The eLIFE project gathers a consortium that combines technical know-how and market knowledge from private companies, as well as insight into the lives of the senior citizens, from end-user partners. Collectively, the consortium possesses the skills required to meet the objective of developing an innovative IT solution for senior citizens.
DigiRehab A/S, based in Viborg (Denmark), brings together the best in physiotherapy and IT. DigiRehab wants to empower and give more autonomy to senior citizens by developing IT solutions, which facilitate the rehabilitation process.
Favrskov Municipality (Favrskov, Denmark) is a municipality in Region Central Jutland in Denmark. This organization offers services in homecare and assisted living and is a current user of the DigiRehab-platform. In this project, Favrskov facilitates the test and evaluation of the app for self-training.
Woon en Zorg Heilig Hart (Kortrijk, Belgium) is a care organization from West-Flanders, Belgium. It offers care in nursing homes as well as assisted living units to senior citizens. The organization has a wide experience, among which is rehabilitation. In the eLIFE-project, it will facilitate one of the pilots and development of a business case for the Belgian market.
Alpscapes GmbH, is a firm, based in Vienna (Austria), offering services in business consultancy. In the project, Alpscapes is responsible for developing the business case for the Austrian market.
AOS GmbH, based in Villach (Austria) is established and runs retirement homes and nursing homes as a private company. In this project AOS facilitates the pilot and the evaluation of the DigiRehab-platform in Austria.
Seijgraaf Consultancy, Heemstede (The Netherlands), is a consultancy firm in the field of strategy and policy structures, related to and resulting from the reimbursement structures of the healthcare system. Within the eLIFE-project, Seijgraaf is in front on business research and the development of business cases.
arendroos, Middelburg (The Netherlands) is a consultancy company, specialising in health innovation. They conduct the management of this project.
The eLIFE-project has been funded through the European Ambient Assisted Living Program (AAL).
The result of the project will be presented when finished. eLIFE will be presented at the AAL forum in Trieste in May 2021.
For more information, please contact:
Project Manager eLIFE, firstname.lastname@example.org