A comparison between an ICT tool and a traditional physical measure for frailty evaluation in older adults

BMC Geriatr. 2019 Mar 21;19(1):88. doi: 10.1186/s12877-019-1089-z.


Background: Frailty is a clinical condition among older adults defined as the loss of resources in one or more domains (i.e., physical, psychological and social domains) of individual functioning. In frail subjects emergency situations and mobility levels need to be carefully monitored. This study aimed to: i) evaluate differences in the mobility index (MI) provided by ADAMO system, an innovative remote monitoring device for older adults; ii) compare the association of the MI and a traditional physical measure with frailty.

Methods: Twenty-five community-dwelling older adults (71 ± 6 years; 60% women) wore ADAMO continuously for a week. The time percentage spent in Low, Moderate and Vigorous Activities was assessed using ADAMO system. Walking ability and frailty were measured using the 400 m walk test and the Tilburg Frailty Indicator, respectively.

Results: Controlling for age and gender, the ANCOVA showed that frail and robust participants were different for Low (frail = 58.8%, robust = 42.0%, p < 0.001), Moderate (frail = 25.5%, robust = 33.8%, p = 0.008), and Vigorous Activity (frail = 15.7%, robust = 24.2%, p = 0.035). Using cluster analysis, participants were divided into two groups, one with higher and one with lower mobility. Controlling for age and gender, linear regression showed that the MI clusters were associated with total (β = 0.571, p = 0.002), physical (β = 0.381, p = 0.031) and social (β = 0.652, p < 0.001) frailty; and the 400 m walk test was just associated with total (β = 0.404, p = 0.043) and physical frailty (β = 0.668, p = 0.002).

Conclusion: ADAMO system seems to be a suitable time tracking that allows to measure mobility levels in a non-intrusive way providing wider information on individual health status and specifically on frailty. For the frail individuals with an important loss of resources in physical domain, this innovative device may represent a considerable help in preventing physical consequences and in monitoring functional status.

Keywords: Health status; ICT tool; Physical functioning; Physical measure; Sarcopenia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly / psychology*
  • Frailty / diagnosis*
  • Frailty / psychology*
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Male
  • Physical Examination / methods*
  • Physical Examination / standards