StandingTall app set to prevent falls

Wednesday, 01 April, 2020

StandingTall app set to prevent falls

Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and digital development partner The Project Factory have launched StandingTall — a new digital application designed to support and strengthen physical balance and cognition in the ageing population.

The iOS and web-based application has begun its implementation trial across NSW and Victoria, encompassing two exercise programs — pure balance and dual-task training — which include over 2000 exercises designed to prevent falls in older people.

“Fall-related injuries are the leading cause of hospitalisation among Australians aged 65 and over,” said senior NeuRA researcher Associate Professor Kim Delbaere, whose team designed the program.

“StandingTall aims to reduce this risk by using the latest findings in neuroscience to train people’s balance, increase their confidence and improve their overall health.”

The overall aim of the app is to offer older people a service they can use independently at home after experiencing a traumatic fall or as a preventative measure. The app is currently being rolled out as part of clinical trials in Sydney and Hobart, and as part of a wider implementation trial across NSW, Victoria and Northern England (UK).

Designed with the overall intent to prevent falls and reduce fear of falling, the StandingTall app trial hopes to see positive progress in older people, bringing a sense of security to those in need and their families.

The StandingTall app offers a wide range of balance exercises across five categories: floor, foam, box, dartboard and grid. Patients can use the app while online or offline to complete their weekly exercise and balance sessions.

Patients are asked to complete a minimum of 60 minutes per week, with the difficulty of the exercises and program progression tailored to the individual. A monthly balance assessment is also completed by the user to enable clinicians to keep track of their progress throughout their use of the app.

“The Project Factory has seen tremendous benefits for older users through the clinical trials of this application,” The Project Factory APAC Managing Director Katherine Robinson said.

“StandingTall is rich in features for rehabilitation of fall-related trauma in all ages but was designed specifically for the older population. It has been very gratifying to see how digital technology has been adopted by the older generation with great restorative results.”

The app features individually tailored exercise sessions with tutorial videos, progress tracking, goal setting and journalling features. Results and data are fed back to the backend where allied health, clinicians and project officers are able to review patients’ exercise regimes and intervene when necessary.

The custom-built backend features different permission levels and has been designed with a worldwide trial implementation in mind, enabling multiple admin access to ensure patient privacy and correct tailoring of programs.

Image courtesy of The Project Factory.

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