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Kick-Off EU Projekt: Seated Exercise Technology

Die "Seated Exercise Technology to walk in balance" (SET) ist eine innovative Lösung zur Verbesserung von Gang und Balance bei älterer Bevölkerung mit hohem Sturzrisiko

RWTH is validating the clinical and technical importance of SET

SET (Seated Exercise Technology) is an integrated solution for treatment and analysis of walking and balance, to assist with rehabilitation for elderly and neurologically impaired people. The solution incorporates sensors to assess balance together with a device that allows the user to train for walking while seated – making it easier for rehabilitation professionals to optimize personal training.

SET is a combined effort of five members: the Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at Franziskushospital – Uniklinik/RWTH Aachen, MedIT/RWTH Aachen, the Biomechanics Lab in the Technion Israel, Philips research from Eindhoven, the Netherlands and Mopair Ltd from Israel.  

In 2015 in the EU28, there were 46 million falls among older people. Falls and fall injuries are major predictors of loss of independence and admission to long-term care, which can double or triple a senior's cost of care. In the EU, the direct cost of fragility fractures has reached €31.7 billion per year. By monitoring the risk of falls, and providing exercise to prevent them, SET’s integrated approach to fall prevention will contribute to reduction of this huge expenditure.

SET combines two validated types of devices: IPANEMA (by RWTH) and GoSafe (by Philips) are sensor systems that can monitor users in their daily routine. Balanseat (by Mopair) trains walking to those elderly who lack the power to exercise their walking, or those who need walking preservation training until they are allowed to walk again.

SET anticipates that users at risk of falling will be screened for walking quality with the sensors and referred to SET rehabilitation when it becomes relevant. During rehabilitation, outcomes will be constantly analyzed by SET sensors. Modification and personalization of rehabilitation will be proposed by SET, with the aim of improving the rehabilitation of the elderly and also increasing efficiency and reducing treatment costs.

SET sensors for measuring walking quality will be validated first in the Biomechanics Lab in the Technion on healthy users and on frail elderly who are treated by Balanseat. Following this, the combined solution will be tested for clinical and economic values in RWTH as well as in nursing homes in Aachen area.

SET is supported by a grant from EIT Health that aims to validate this integrated solution for the benefit of the users, caregivers and health systems.

"IPANEMA, as well as Gosafe, automatically monitor the individual's walking in daily life" said Prof. Steffen Leonhardt, chair of the MedIT at RWTH Aachen. "They have the potential to extend the therapeutic objective knowledge about the individual that he/she treats by providing information that IPANEMA has already been proven to deliver".

“Thoracopelvic assisted movement training such as SET, represents a great potential to improve balance and gait ability of elderly people with high fall-risk“ said Prof Cornelius Bollheimer, the head of the geriatric department at RWTH about the SET treatment. 

Dr. Chuong Ngo from MedIT and Dr. Joao Pedro Batista from the geriatric clinic will collaborate in the technical and clinical validation at RWTH.

Dr. Ngo says "An sensor-based integrated solution that allows monitoring of walking and personalized rehabilitation programs would improve the lives of people who need this rehabilitation".

Dr. Batista adds that "By supporting rehabilitation and fall prevention, this solution might also help seniors to cope with frailty. Consequently, society and the healthcare system would benefit by reducing the high costs of disabilities treatment as consequences of frailty".

The SET project was initiated officially in June 2019 in the Biomechanics lab in the Technion. Dr. Giulio Valenti and Dr. Janneke Annegran Research Scientists at Philips Research and SET leaders, Dr. Joao Pedro Batista from the geriatric clinic at RWTH Aachen together with Dr. Chuong Ngo and Markus Lüken from MedIT at RWTH Aachen, have joined Uri Halperin, Yossi Yavin, Zeev Shneorson and Dr. Yehuda Zicherman from Mopair Ltd and Dr. Deborah Solomonow-Avnon and Prof. Alon Wolf from the Technion.


SET members believe in targeting treatment for walking problems. Possibly changing the trajectory of an ageing person’s health and supporting fall prevention is in line with the developing trends of rehabilitation that might be used at home in the future.