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Aging and disease    2017, Vol. 8 Issue (2) : 2005-2015     DOI: 10.14336/AD.2016.0901
Review |
Is Technology Present in Frailty? Technology a Back-up Tool for Dealing with Frailty in the Elderly: A Systematic Review
Mugueta-Aguinaga Iranzu1, Garcia-Zapirain Begonya2,3
1Rehabilitation Service, Cruces Universitary Hospital, Plaza Cruces s/n, 48903, Barakaldo, Spain.
2DeustoTech - Deusto Foundation, Avda Universidades, 24, 48007, Bilbao, Spain
3Engineering Faculty, University of Deusto, Avda. Universidades, 24, 48007, Bilbao, Spain
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This study analyzes the technologies used in dealing with frailty within the following areas: prevention, care, diagnosis and treatment. The aim of this paper is, on the one hand, to analyze the extent to which technology is present in terms of its relationship with frailty and what technological resources are used to treat it. Its other purpose is to define new challenges and contributions made by physiotherapy using technology. Eighty documents related to research, validation and/or the ascertaining of different types of hardware, software or both were reviewed in prominent areas. The authors used the following scales: in the area of diagnosis, Fried’s phenotype model of frailty and a model based on trials for the design of devices. The technologies developed that are based on these models accounted for 55% and 45% of cases respectively. In the area of prevention, the results proved similar regarding the use of wireless sensors with cameras (35.71%), and Kinect™ sensors (28.57%) to analyze movements and postures that indicate a risk of falling. In the area of care, results were found referring to the use of different motion, physiological and environmental wireless sensors (46,15%), i.e. so-called smart homes. In the area of treatment, the results show with a percentage of 37.5% that the Nintendo® Wii™ console is the most used tool for treating frailty in elderly persons. Further work needs to be carried out to reduce the gap existing between technology, frail elderly persons, healthcare professionals and carers to bring together the different views about technology. This need raises the challenge of developing and implementing technology in physiotherapy via serious games that may via play and connectivity help to improve the functional capacity, general health and quality of life of frail individuals.

Keywords Frailty      kinect      exergaming      serious games      robots      virtual reality     
Corresponding Authors: Mugueta-Aguinaga Iranzu   
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These authors contributed equally to this work

Issue Date: 01 April 2017
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Garcia-Zapirain Begonya
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Mugueta-Aguinaga Iranzu,Garcia-Zapirain Begonya. Is Technology Present in Frailty? Technology a Back-up Tool for Dealing with Frailty in the Elderly: A Systematic Review[J]. Aging and disease, 2017, 8(2): 2005-2015.
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Figure 1.  Prevalence of frailty in Spain. Data from cohorts of longitudinal aging studies in Spain.
Figure 2.  Percentage of results according to the data base that was reviewed.
Figure 3.  Flow Diagram. Strategy carried out in this review
Figure 4.  Results found between 2005-2015 for specific areas
Figure 5.  Results found for selected areas when reviewing 2005-2015 and yearly results and selected areas found for the review.
Figure 6.  Results found by year and by area: Diagnosis, Prevention, Care, Treatment.
AuthorYearCountryClinic GroupControl GroupAge
Ganea et al., 2011[29]2011Switzerland7927≥65FrailtyDiagnosisPortable inertial sensorHardware
Martínez-Ramirez et al., 2011[30]2011Spain322475-83FrailtyDiagnosisTriaxial inertial guidance sensorHardware
Chang et al., 2013[32]2013Taiwan160149≥65FrailtyDiagnosisWireless sensors and artificial neural networks integratedHardware
Fontecha et al., 2013[33]2013Spain20--78-86FrailtyDiagnosisAccelerometer sensor integrated into smartphoneHardware
Galan-Mercant et al.,2013;2014 y 2015[34-36]2013Spain30--≥65FrailtyDiagnosisInertial sensor in iPhone4®Hardware
Zaffarana et al., 2014[37]2014Italy94--65-90FrailtyDiagnosisInertial sensors in Samsung Galaxy SII/IIIHardware
Castro et al., 2015[38]2015Mexico15--73-79FrailtyDiagnosisIncense application in smartphoneHardware
Gallego et al., 2011[40]2011Spain387--≥80FrailtyDiagnosisHand gripHardware
Chang et al.,2011[41]2011Taiwan160149≥65FrailtyDiagnosisElectronic
pressure grip force and distance
Zavala et al., 2012[42]2012Mexico11--65-85FrailtyDiagnosisWii™ console using remote sensorHardware
Chkeir et al., 2013[43]2013France360--SeniorFrailtyDiagnosisGrip-ball DynamometerHardware
Hewson et al., 2013[45]2013France----SeniorFrailtyDiagnosisGrip-ball Dynamometer
Digital bathroom scale Acelerometer
Jaber et al., 2013[46]2013France150--≥75FrailtyDiagnosisARPEGE ProjectHardware
Dapp et al., 2013[47]2013Switzerland3326--≥60FrailtyDiagnosisGAITRite®-SystemHardware
Drubbel et al., 2013 [48,49]2013Netherlands1580--≥60FrailtyDiagnosisSoftware GFIdataSoftware
Table 1  Results in area: Diagnosis
AuthorYearCountryClinic GroupControl GroupAge
Lee et al., 2005[53]2005Canada21--20-40FrailtyPreventionVideocamerasHardware
Reeves et al., 2007[54]2007United Kingdom--
21 municipios
--SeniorFrailtyPrevention20 Wireless environmental sensorsHardware
Jun et al., 2009[55]2009USA----Healthy young adultsFrailtyPreventionVicon 3D system
6 markers
Zouba et al., 2009[56]2009France2--64-85FrailtyPreventionGERHOME:
Cameras and sensors
Tolkiehn et al., 2011[57]2011United Kingdom12--x¯26FrailtyPreventionAcelerometer
Barometric pressure sensor
Menelas et al., 2012[58]2012Canada----Only laboratory testsFrailtyPreventionKinect™
Interactive shoe
Nakajima et al., 2012[59]2012Japan498--x¯74FrailtyPreventionManipulated inner solesHadware
Tchalla et al., 2012[60]2012France9698≥65FrailtyPreventionTelecareHardware
Sadasivam et al., 2014[61]2014USA9--71-90FrailtyPreventionRobot with videocameraHardware
Ando et al., 2015[62]2015Italy10--25-44FrailtyPreventionSmartphoneHardware
Chaccour et al., 2015[63]2015France----Young adults in laboratoryFrailtyPreventionOptical sensors
Inertial acelerometer Audio notification module Location module Infrared sensors Ultrasonic sensor
Dubois et al., 2015[64]2015Switzerland12--21-54FrailtyPreventionSensor KinectHardware
Table 2  Results in area: Prevention
AuthorYearCountryClinic GroupControl GroupAge
Savenstedt et al., 2005[67]2005Sweden18..SeniorFrailtyCareTelecareHardware
Finkelstein et al., 2006[68]2006USA4040≥60FrailtyCareTelecare:
VALUE program
Vincent et al., 2006[69]2006Canadá38--≥65FrailtyCareTelecareHardware
Savolainen et al., 2008 y Magnusson et al., 2012[70,71]2008Sweden----SeniorFrailtyCareTechnology of the information and communication. (TICs)Hardware
Lin et al., 2008[72]2008Taiwan----≥60FrailtyCareWireless physiological sensorsHardware
Mahoney et al., 2009[73]2009USA13--x¯79FrailtyCareAT EASE ProjectHardware
Vacher et al., 2011 y 2013[74.75]2011France13--x¯35FrailtyCareSWEET-HOME ProjectHardware
Robben et al., 2012[76]2012Netherlands290--≥70FrailtyCaree-salud web siteSoftware
Pigini et al., 2012[77]2012Italy63--75-91FrailtyCareRobot ShadowHardware
Clarke et al., 2013[78]2013United Kingdom11--45-82FrailtyCareIntegrated sensor platformHardware
De Folter et al., 2014[79]2014United Kingdom----SeniorFrailtyCareinCASA (integrated network)Hardware
Man et al., 2015[80]2015Netherlands73--≥65FrailtyCareInteractive Software with 11 functionsSoftware
Table 3  Results in area: Care
AuthorYearCountryClinic GroupControl GroupAge
Ganea et al., 2007[81]2007Switzerland30--74-86FrailtyTreatmentInertial sensor systemHardware
Bondoc et al.,
2011 [82]
2011USA2020SeniorFrailtyTreatmentWii™ sports and Wii Fit programHardware
Kwok et al., 2011[83]2011Singapore4040≥60FrailtyTreatmentNintendo® Wii™ consoleHardware
Szturm et al., 2011[84]2011Canada141665-85FrailtyTreatmentPressure and motion sensorsHardware
Daniel et al., 2011[85]2011USA1211≥65FrailtyTreatmentGeri-Fit® program
Wii™ console
Daniel et al., 2012[86]2012USA167≥70FrailtyTreatmentWii Fit
Nintendo®Wii™ console
Tsai et al., 2013[87]2013Taiwan101--≥60FrailtyTreatmentiFit fitness testing platformHardware
Jorgensen et al., 2013[88]2013Denmark2830≥65FrailtyTreatmentNintendo®Wii™ consoleHardware
Kim et al., 2013[89]2013South Korea181465-72FrailtyTreatmentVirtual realityHardware
Lauritzen et al., 2013[90]2013Sapin18--81-90
FrailtyTreatmentFitbit Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S3
Padala et al., 2014[91]2014USA6363≥70FrailtyTreatmentWii FitHardware
Kubicki et al., 2014[92]2014France2323≥70FrailtyTreatmentBased on 2D virtual reality
Fovea Interactive® and marker
Geraedts et al., 2014[93]2014Netherlands50--70-85FrailtyTreatmentWireless motion sensorHardware
Geraedts et al., 2015[94]2015USA20--≥70FrailtyTreatmentHybrid sensor: acelerometer and barometric pressure sensorHardware
Fairhall et al., 2015[95]2015Australia115115≥70FrailtyTreatmentMultifactorial intervention program with online exercisesInteractive computer software
Table 4  Results in area: Treatment
Figure 7.  Percentage of results according to the scales on which the authors base for the design of technology in the area: Diagnosis.
Figure 8.  Percentage of devices used in studies for fall prevention.
Figure 9.  Percentage of tools used in the study for care.
Figure 10.  Percentage of devices used in the studies for treatment.
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