Enterprise Europe Network

Spanish technological centre looks for EU distributors of its innovative biomechanical application to evaluate fall risk in the elderly

Country of origin:
Country: 
SPAIN
Opportunity:
External Id: 
BOES20200327002
Published
27/03/2020
Last update
30/03/2020
Expiration date
31/03/2021

Keywords

Partner keyword: 
Applications for Health
Gerontology and Geriatrics
Safety & systems
Sensors & Wireless products
Remote diagnostics
Systems software
Medical/health software
Diagnostic services
Monitoring equipment
Safety for the elderly
Other research and experimental development on natural sciences and engineering
Research and experimental development on social sciences and humanities
Hospital activities
Specialist medical practice activities
Residential care activities for the elderly and disabled
EXPRESS YOUR INTEREST

Summary

Summary: 
A Spanish technological centre has developed a biomechanical application that allows clinicians to evaluate the elderly’s fall risk, attributed to their functional state. The product is fully developed and they are currently looking for companies distributing health devices in the EU and connected to medical and elderly care sectors and/or to universities and research organizations, to establish a commercial or distribution agreement.

Description

Description: 

One out of three older adults falls at least once a year, which is one of the major geriatric syndromes and the second world cause of accidental or unintentional death. A fall usually implies a deterioration in the autonomy of elderly people, which reduces their quality of life and that of their social environment. The consequences range from clinical problems such as fractures or sprains to the fear of falling syndrome, which involves an increase in the fragility of the older person and the onset of functional disability.

This problem supposes extremely high costs for the health systems of the different countries and it must be approached from a scientific point of view.

A Spanish technological centre focused in the improvement of products, environment and services that people use, has designed and developed an easy, reliable and robust solution adapted to the healthcare sector, for the problems above described.

It consists of a biomechanical application that allows clinicians to evaluate older adults’ fall risk, attributed to their functional state. It uses an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) integrated in a portable console, which analyses the biomechanical response when performing a modified protocol of the Timed up and Go Test (TGU).

The system assesses the overall risk of falling by combining the result of a biomechanical test of the main risk factors, such as age, gender and patient history of falls. The fall risk result is available immediately after the test, which is accompanied by a comprehensive evaluation of the main biomechanical parameters related to falls; in this way, clinicians are assisted during the diagnosis phase, making the decision process easier.

The assessment lasts approximately two minutes, including the instrumentation of the patient and the performance of the test. The device has been designed to be used by healthcare personnel in the clinical setting, where objectivity and time-saving provide a great added value in clinical protocols. Besides, the application include a set of belts to facilitate the correct positioning of the device (between iliac crests), a pair of headphones to amplify the acoustic signal in case of hearing impairments, and a universal battery charger.

The centre is currently looking for partners to distribute the system around Europe via a commercial agency agreement or a distribution services agreement. The potential partners may be companies that distribute health devices in the EU with contacts in the medical and elderly sectors as well as with universities and research organizations.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
Currently there is another system in the market considered the current gold standard to evaluate fall risk in older adults. This method, which consists of 5 different independent tests, presents a CCI (Consumer Confidence Index) depending on the tests, between 0.55 and 0.85, with a predictive precision between 70 and 75%. In that sense, a study was undertaken by the Spanish centre among a sample of 65 older adults, who were evaluated, by three independent observers, using the gold standard system and the one developed by the technological centre. The correlation obtained between these two methods is -0.65 (p<0.01 bilateral). In the same experiment, a reliability study of the Spanish centre methodology was also conducted, getting a value of the Cronbach’s Alpha statistic of 0.97, with a CCI between 0.88 and 0.95. These results prove the high reliability of the protocol and biomechanical model implemented in the system designed and developed by the centre. Other similar products or those with similar functionalities to the presented one are not user-friendly and they also have a higher cost. Together with the results obtained in the tests explained above, this makes the system of the Spanish centre unique in the market, because of its design, characteristics and reliability.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Already on the market

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
The Spanish technological centre is currently looking for partners to distribute the system around Europe via a commercial agency agreement or a distribution services agreement. They seek companies that already distribute health devices in the EU with special contact with the medical and elderly care sectors as well as the university and research organizations.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,SME 51-250