It has been shown that active ageing is essential to halt the conditions that appear with age that deteriorate people’s functional and cognitive capacities and can lead to a state of fragility. To diagnose such a state early on, it is necessary to provide professionals with the tools to enable them to objectively analyse the deterioration of elderly people’s capacities and prescribe action to reverse the trend.
THE ELDERLY AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES
Elderly people are interacting with new technologies more and more (healthcare assistance services, socializing with family and friends, etc.). It is therefore essential to take into account their characteristics and needs when designing these new products and services.
AGEING IN THE WORKPLACE
Ageing in the working population presents a challenge for companies, which must adapt their workplaces from the ergonomic, cognitive and organisational points of view, taking into account elderly people’s loss of capacities. Alongside these steps, ageing must be suitably managed to be able to keep up the working population’s motivation and productivity until they retire.
At the Instituto de Biomécanica (IBV) we have a solid scientific basis as regards ageing, which enables us to carry out projects concerning the elderly and people in a situation of dependency, fragility or disability. We have the necessary knowledge to help companies, associations, users and institutions to develop products and services and to continue improving such people’s quality of life.
Based on our knowledge acquired about the elderly population, we accompany companies in the process of designing and validating their solutions, putting forward improvements to them in order to fully satisfy the end client.
We analyse elderly people’s interaction with the devices by applying people-centred innovation methods so as to identify possible improvements in them from the point of view of usability and functionality.
IBV has the SIMPLIT certification by which companies can accredit that a device or service is easy to use, comfortable and intuitive for elderly people.
To obtain the SIMPLIT seal, the product or service must pass an evaluation process that includes verification that it meets regulations and usability tests with the users themselves.
One of the WHO’s five priority objectives in its global strategy and action plan on ageing and health is to improve measurements, monitoring and research on healthy ageing. All of this implies a need for new measurement mechanisms and analytical methods to evaluate aspects related to the ageing process.
At the Instituto de Biomecánica (IBV) we have technologies such as Fallskip, the biomechanical application that evaluates a person’s risk of falling, as well as assessing their locomotor system’s functional state. This helps to address the problem of elderly people falling, which affects 30% of people over 65 years of age at least once a year, and 50% of people over 80.