We all get more frail as we age. But frailty is happening earlier. Frailty beckons but why?
The cause is almost certainly due to technology. Technology which is allowing us to do more but with little or no effort on our part.
How do we control it? Interestingly, technology itself can help to minimise the effects
The onset of frailty is a natural part of life but directly linked to how much activity we have in our lifestyle. A modicum of daily activity has been linked to better physical and mental wellbeing, which results in a pushback of onset of frailty.
A research team from Dalhousie University have spent years looking into the ageing process and the natural process of physical decline, which they have proposed fall into 9 separate stages, known as the Clinical Frailty Scale:
The scale shows there is a clear link between the level of physical activity and the onset of frailty, with evidence suggesting that maintaining a healthy level of exercise may assist with delaying the onset of frailty.
However, one clear result from Dalhousie’s research has indicated that we are seeing the onset of frailty earlier than ever before, as evidenced by the early access of specialist treatments, operations and hospitalisations. With so much information surrounding the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, we must wonder what is driving these results?
Modern technology has been designed to make our everyday lives easier, so It doesn’t seem logical that it may be curtailing life expectancy as a consequence. However it could be these very advances which are driving our decline.
Although we can finish tasks faster with technology, we start to take on more, and many people overstretch their capabilities. Busier lifestyles means people take shortcuts to get things done more efficiently. This may be driving instead of walking the kids to school, taking the lift to our floor at work, ordering on the internet instead of going out to the shops. The rise of home automation enables you to switch lights on/off, change channels, draw curtains or start the sound system, all without moving from the sofa. The result…getting more done, but at the cost of our daily physical activity.
At the annual SBRI Conference (Check out the link to conference) in the UK in 2015, the team from Dalhousie also recognised that, when addressing the health impacts of frailty, the most important thing is to first identify the problem, then to provide a suitable remedy/treatment.
“Ironically, technology itself can help to minimise the effects”
Products, such as MimoCare are harnessing the power of the Internet of Things (IoT), big data technology and trend analysis, to not only to get a better picture of our wellbeing and fitness levels than ever before, but to give us the power to start to predict health concerns before they occur.
In the cause of ensuring activity levels are maintained, MimoCare utilises the constant stream of data from its activity sensors and uses edges analytics to plot negative or positive trends . By observing and monitoring the periods of static behaviour like sitting and lying, versus active periods, MimoCare can easily assess the level of sedentary behaviour and plot a trend that will flag up warnings to carers that action should be taken. Information can be communicated to carers and/or family members who can then intervene to ensure lifestyle changes are made to help push back that onset
As the rate of development of technology continues to get faster, it will throw up both many challenges but also many opportunities in changing the way we live our lives. With products such as MimoCare leading the way, the ability to maintain wellbeing and mobility well into our retirement years is fast becoming an exciting reality.
Watch The SBRI Presentation