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Seamless affordable assistive technology
Normal ageing leads to physical and cognitive degeneration often causing loss of independence and the need for care support. The global growth in the ageing population is causing concern since it is clear that the human resources available for elderly care will be unable to cope with the growing demand. The numbers in India and the percentages in Sweden are alarming and it is clear that they will impose a huge burden on the healthcare resources needed. Thus, there is urgent need for developing appropriate solutions to help elderly persons to continue to enjoy independent and active lives in their own home for as long as possible with a good quality of life and to monitor and assess the status of the elderly persons to target assistive support and care to ensure this.
The SAATH projects aims to develop physical activity monitoring and diagnostic tools for assessing the mobility and motor skills of elderly persons and, if this falls below a critical threshold, design and test a variety of assistive solutions for helping elderly persons maintain/improve levels of physical activity for full, active and independent lives. This involves developing/fitting inertial motion tracking/gait analysis technologies for long term monitoring at home, develop a range of assistive solutions (from smart walking sticks to restraint type lower body exoskeletons), investigating the technical challenges in ensuring stability of the assisted elderly persons, testing the prototypes realised, and prepare commercialisation plans for implementation in India and Sweden. Four academic institutes (IIT Kanpur, IISc Bangalore, KTH Sweden and Gavle Univ.) are involved in this collaborative project along with two industrial partners from India Sweden. A schematic details is provided in the following figure.