Workshop on personal motion technologies for healthy independent living: Executive summary

Mary M. Rodgers, Zohara A. Cohen, Lyndon Joseph, Winifred Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The objective of the June 2010 "Workshop on Personal Motions Technologies for Healthy Independent Living" was to discuss personal motion technologies that might enable older adults and individuals with disability to live independently for longer periods. The 60 participants included clinicians, academic researchers, engineers, patient advocates, caregivers, members of the public, and federal representatives. The workshop was divided into 6 sessions that addressed the following: (1) use of technologies in identifying early indicators of disease or adverse events; (2) monitoring daily activities; (3) coping with impairment; (4) managing mild cognitive impairment; (5) rehabilitation and exercise in the home; and (6) caregiver support. Presentations and discussion focused on clinical needs, the health impact of addressing those needs, state-of-the-art technologies, and challenges to adoption of those technologies. Conclusions included the following: (1) Involvement of end-users in research and development will increase the likelihood that technologies will be adopted. (2) Integration of differing types of technology into a system that includes clinical measures is required for independent living. (3) Seniors are willing to sacrifice some privacy for an effective technology that keeps them in their homes as long as they control who receives their data. (4) Multilevel and multiscale models are needed to understand motion in the context of the environment and to design effective systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)935-939
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
• MCI, often seen as the transitional state between normal aging and dementia, is a heterogeneous group of etiologies and clinical presentations. About 10% to 20% of individuals 65 years and older have MCI, and of those, 15% will progress to dementia each year. Compared with others caring for older adults, individuals caring for patients with dementia provide more hours of caregiving and experience higher emotional stress and more negative impacts on employment and financial security. In addition, patients with dementia undergo more hospital stays and more home health visits, are more likely to be placed in assisted living or skilled nursing facilities, and thus account for health care costs that are 3 times greater than those for other conditions. Thus the use of technologies to prevent or slow progression of MCI might be beneficial. More work is needed to develop technologies that can monitor disease progression throughout the cognitive continuum, adapt to progressive deficits, support procedural learning, compensate for normal age-related impairments, and capture the process aspects of activity and nonactivity. • Securing funding for this type of technology development is particularly challenging. Several iterations are needed to get a technology working, and clinical technology development is often a multidisciplinary project, which traditionally has not succeeded in NIH study sections. While the NSF is interested in algorithm development, its reviewers are hesitant to recommend support for research involving human subjects. There is a need for increased awareness of the importance of technology development and collaborative funding mechanisms for the relevant federal agencies (Department of Defense, NIH, NSF, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research [NIDRR]). • A myriad of technologic solutions are available, but the best match between data and clinical application has yet to be determined. The simplest solutions should be found for, and support targeted to, a given application. • Interoperability among devices and among institutions remains a problem. More research is needed to develop standards and universal data formats. Information technology and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act standards are in place, but standard technical taxonomies are needed for clinical health records, and these taxonomies must gain acceptance from clinicians.


  • Caregivers
  • Independent Living
  • Motion
  • Rehabilitation
  • Remote Sensing Technology
  • Technology


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