Researchers at the University of Sheffield have been awarded 2.1m euros in funding to help develop technology to monitor how well people walk – a vital sign of health and wellbeing.
The project is developing a system that uses small sensors worn on the body so mobility can easily be monitored and assessed by health professionals.
Mobility – how well someone walks – is considered the sixth vital sign of health. This is because poor gait, especially walking slowly, is associated with earlier death, greater risk of disease, cognitive decline, dementia and an increased risk of falls.
Funded by the European Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking – a public-private partnership that funds health research and innovation – the research is part of a pioneering European project named MOBILISE-D, which aims to revolutionise assessment of mobility loss using digital technology. This could lead to enhanced clinical trials and better clinical management.
The project will enable clinicians and scientists from academic centres across Europe to collaborate with companies from the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). It includes 34 international research partners based at leading international universities and some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and technical companies.
Professor Claudia Mazzà, an associated researcher, said: “MOBILISE-D is the product of a long-standing multidisciplinary collaboration between researchers at the Insigneo Institute for in silico Medicine and the NIHR Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre. It marks a fantastic opportunity for the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospital to contribute to a technology-based revolution in clinical management and personalised healthcare, with a local focus on Multiple Sclerosis.”
E-D will focus on digital mobility assessment being recognized for the analysis and treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, hip fracture recovery (Proximal Femoral Fracture, PFF) and congestive heart failure.