Smartphone app targets health habits of seniors

Encouraging seniors to give up certain habits and adopt a more healthy lifestyle can be difficult. But a new smartphone app now under development may help.

Researchers at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech (UPC) and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), are working on an app that can measure variables such as physical activity and heart rate variability and then combine these with psychological, emotional and cognitive variables obtained through simple tests and a questionnaire to create a holistic view of the individual. By doing this, the researchers believe older adults can take control of their lives and be willing to change their lifestyles.

According to a press release, the team of researchers have embarked on a two-year project with the goal of producing a user-friendly smartphone app suitable for those over the age of 60.

While some smartphones already use sensors to measure heart rate and movement, the researchers are developing specialized software that can measure heart rate variability in real time and software that can link to GPS sensors or nearby networks to detect a user's actual movement, including falls.

A social network also is being considered so that registered users can share information with others and receive confidential advice from healthcare experts.


Topics: Technology & IT