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International study tests smartphone app to prevent frailty


The University of the Sunshine Coast is trialling a new mobile phone app to detect and reduce the risk of people over 60 becoming frail.

The 18-month trial of the My Active and Healthy Ageing (my-AHA) app is part of an international study involving researchers from nine countries.

Associate Professor Mathew Summers, lead researcher at USC’s Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience – Thompson Institute, said the study would assess the app’s effectiveness in assessing a person’s risk for becoming frail and providing in-home interventions tailored to the individual’s needs.

“When people become physically frail, they are at greater risk of falling and sustaining serious injuries. In addition, physical frailty can lead to a loss of independence meaning that the frail older adult may require moving into residential care,” Associate Professor Summers said.

“By identifying people at greater risk of becoming frail, the goal of the my-AHA platform is to provide tailored interventions to enable the older adult to reverse their risk of frailty and remain living independently in their own homes.”

The trial is currently seeking to recruit 50 participants from the Sunshine Coast, who will be assessed every 6 months to monitor their progress.

The study is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and the European Union’s Horizon2020 program.

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