Scroll to top

Remote, Home-Based Strength Monitoring for Older Adults

Funding Source

National Institute on Drug Abuse – Center for Technology and Behavioral Health Pilot Core

Project Period

November 2018 - October 2019

Principal Investigator

John A. Batsis, MD

Other Project Staff

Summer Cook, PhD (Co-Investigator); Ryan J. Halter, PhD (Co-Investigator); David F. Kotz, PhD (Co-Investigator); Lorie Loeb (Co-Investigator); Curtis L. Petersen, MPH

Project Summary

Mobile health modalities are promising solutions for delivering health promotion interventions to vulnerable groups, such as older adults at risk for functional decline. Engagement in resistance exercises is a core element in any behavior-based physical activity program that reduces the risk of sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass and strength. While in-person, on-site exercise regimens promote behavioral change through monitoring, feedback and compliance, the lack of access to such programs prevent direct monitoring, leading to low adherence rates. This project will develop a Connected Resistance Exercise Band application (App) by deploying a novel Bluetooth-enabled connected resistance band used in resistance exercise training in a home-based setting. Our aim is to capture data, provide feedback, and seamlessly integrate the device and App in future health promotion studies. If effective, this pilot will permit monitoring of activity compliance while reducing uncertainties related to technique, which will yield higher precision and accuracy of a patient’s progress in strength training. We propose the following specific aims: 1) Apply user-centered design principles to develop and iterate an iOS/ Android application to connect, record and display data from a Connected Resistance Exercise Band to maximize its utility in a real-world, home-based setting in the target end-user (older adults, clinicians); 2) Ascertain the feasibility, acceptability and potential effectiveness of using a home-based, Connected Resistance Exercise Band connected to an iOS/Android application for monitoring repeated exercises in 15 older adults over a one-month period in a field-based usability study. The added value of this technology as a behavioral adjunct to current health promotion interventions in older adults is needed as a step in integrating the potential of mHealth into routine clinical care for individuals at risk for sarcopenia. If successful, this pilot can serve as a template for other behavioral interventions using remote monitoring in other diverse groups.