Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie

, Volume 49, Issue 7, pp 581–595 | Cite as

Technology-based measurements for screening, monitoring and preventing frailty

  • L. Dasenbrock
  • A. Heinks
  • M. Schwenk
  • J. M. Bauer
Beiträge zum Themenschwerpunkt


Background and objective

Sensor technology, in particular wearable inertial sensors, has the potential to help researchers objectively assess the functionality of older adults. The following review provides an overview about the possible use of sensor technology to detect and prevent pre-frailty and frailty.


A systematic literature search in PubMed and the Cochrane Library was conducted. Articles were selected according to the following criteria: frail and/or pre-frail population, use of wearable and non-wearable sensor technology to measure or enhance human movements or activities of daily living and a focus on frailty assessment.


A total of 28 publications were found. Sensor-derived parameters obtained during assessment of gait, functional performances and physical activity were reported to be relevant for screening and monitoring pre-frailty and frailty; however, current findings are limited to cross-sectional studies, which do not allow establishment of a causal relationship between motor performance, physical activity and specific frailty states. No study monitored specific activities of daily living.


Outcome variables from technology-based assessment seem to provide valuable information for frailty assessment. Strenuous testing conditions as well as increased variability in gait, functional performance and physical activity may be useful in identifying frailty. Outcome variables derived from gait, motor assessment and physical activity must still be validated in large cohorts and under daily living conditions in order to develop robust screening tools for pre-frailty and frailty. Further research should focus on specific activities of daily living in pre-frail or frail older adults and technology-based approaches for intervention and prevention.


Frail older adults Gerontechnology Wearable sensors Assessment Monitoring 

Screening, Monitoring und Prävention von (Pre-)Frailty mit technologiebasierten Assessments


Hintergrund und Zielsetzung

Sensortechnologie und speziell tragbare Inertialsensorik kann die Funktionalität älterer Menschen messen und bewerten. Im folgenden Review wird ein Überblick gegeben, inwieweit Sensortechnologie (Pre-)Frailty erkennen und der Prävention dienen kann.


Eine systematische Literaturrecherche in PubMed und Cochrane Library wurde mit folgenden Einschlusskriterien durchgeführt: (pre-)fraile Studienpopulation, Einsatz tragbarer und/oder nicht tragbarer Sensortechnologie zum Messen oder Fördern von Bewegung und Aktivitäten des täglichen Lebens und Fokus auf Frailty-Assessment.


Insgesamt 28 Artikel wurden identifiziert. Sensorparameter für den Gang, das motorische Assessment und die körperliche Aktivität eignen sich zum Screening und Monitoring von (Pre-)Frailty. Kausalbeziehungen zwischen Sensorparametern und Frailty-Status können aufgrund mangelnder Längsschnittstudien jedoch bislang nicht abgeleitet werden. Ein sensorbasiertes Monitoring spezieller Aktivitäten des täglichen Lebens erfolgte nicht.


Technologiegestützte Assessmentparameter können wertvolle Informationen zum Frailty-Assessment beitragen. Sensorparameter von Gang, motorischem Assessment und körperlicher Aktivität sollten in großen Stichproben und unter Alltagsbedingungen validiert werden, um robuste Screening-Instrumente für (Pre-)Frailty zu entwickeln. Zukünftige Projekte sollten sich darüber hinaus auf spezifische sensorbasiert gemessene Aktivitäten des alltäglichen Lebens und technologie-gestützte Ansätze zur Prävention und Intervention bei (Pre-)Frailty fokussieren.


Gebrechliche ältere Menschen Gerontotechnologie Tragbare Sensoren Assessment Monitoring 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geriatric Medicine, Klinikum OldenburgCarl von Ossietzky University OldenburgOldenburgGermany
  2. 2.Network Aging ResearchHeidelberg UniversityHeidelbergGermany
  3. 3.Department of Clinical Gerontology and RehabilitationRobert-Bosch-HospitalStuttgartGermany
  4. 4.Chair of Geriatric MedicineHeidelberg University, AGAPLESION BETHANIEN KRANKENHAUS HEIDELBERGHeidelbergGermany

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