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The Digital Fitness Coach for Seniors

The Digital Fitness Coach for Seniors

Photo: Woman standing in front of a large monitor 

Scientists in the European research project PAMAP are working on a first prototype to measure physical activities to support healthier and independent living for elderly people.

In the European research project PAMAP (Physical Activity Monitoring for Aging People), scientists of the DFKI research department “Augmented Reality” work on a prototype, which measures the physical activities of elderly and motivates them to stay active and healthy as retired. Within this project, an international team of experts of sensors, biomechanics, and medicine investigates the question: How can modern information and sensor technology help elderly people to improve their lives?

“Our assistance system can be used for both prevention and rehabilitation”, says Didier Stricker, the head of the DFKI research department in Kaiserslautern. “Based on small inertial sensors, it detects the physical activities and informs the wearer. The system can also exactly determine the movements of the upper body using a biomechanical model of the upper body. This can be used for specific exercises during functional rehabilitation.”

Like a fitness coach, the PAMAP system monitors the user, corrects her movements and warns her about overstraining. Thus the system helps to perform the exercises correctly. The recorded movements are displayed on the TV screen. In case of incorrect execution correcting instructions, such as “you must fully extend your arm”, are displayed.

The relevant data are stored in an electronic health record and can be viewed later by the user and her family, and they can be analyzed by medical specialists. The doctors and physical therapists can thus provide early diagnosis, measure how successful therapies are, and give users interactive assistance to follow their treatment.

“With the support of the PAMAP system, seniors can manage their health and quality of life independently and in their known environment”, says Stricker.

Medical research shows that a balanced physical activity has positive effects on health and extends the life expectancy. The motivation to sustain a balanced physical activity is crucial, especially for elderly people.; Source: Augmented Vision German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) GmbH

- More about the Augmented Vision German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence at


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