Community Strength and Balance Project

Why are we doing this?

The project is recruiting volunteers aged 65+ from different community groups from all over Sheffield to help test a new, innovative device called QTUG™ (Quantitative Timed Up and Go) manufactured by Kinesis Health Technologies.  It is a device for the assessment of falls risk and frailty.

The rationale underlying the project is that QTUG™ gives anyone, who has been trained to use the device, the ability to assess somebody’s risk of falling. They can then make appropriate referrals based on the information obtained.

The QTUG™ test provides an opportunity for clinicians to re-think their model of care and assess people at an earlier stage for support and treatment so we can improve people’s ability to self-manage and thereby potentially reduce their reliance on carers/health and care professionals.

It may also be that by assessment and early identification of strength and balance issues we can reduce unplanned hospital admissions/use of A & E and reduce the use of urgent primary care.

 

Who’s involved in the project?

  • Lead Evaluation Partner: University of Sheffield (https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/scharr)
  • Lead for public engagement: Healthwatch Sheffield (http://www.healthwatchsheffield.co.uk/)
  • Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (http://www.sth.nhs.uk/)
  • Lead Innovator Partner: Kinesis (http://www.kinesis.ie/)
  • The Test Bed Advisory Group
  • Various community groups and organisations

 

How does the QTUG device and project work?

Each QTUG™ kit contains two inertial sensors, worn on each shin, which stream data wirelessly via Bluetooth to a tablet device. It provides a method for objective assessment of mobility, falls risk and frailty. The device also provides identification of mobility impairment through automatic comparison against reference values for the service user’s age and gender.

Volunteers are being invited through community groups and community health settings to have their strength and balance assessed by a trained NHS health professional (registered nurse/HCA).  Every participant is asked eight quick questions then the two sensors will be attached to their legs, by a trained NHS health professional, with adjustable Velcro™ straps on top of their clothes.  These sensors send information to a handheld device whilst the person walks a short distance (three metres).  The device then works out the result.  The device gives a score straight away which will be shared with the individuals who have been tested so they will know how well they’re doing or whether they may need a little extra help to build up their strength and balance.  Should individuals be assessed as high risk and needing a little extra help, an optional referral will be offered to the strength and balance team with individuals being under no obligation to attend either programme.

The individual’s GP will be notified that a QTUG™ assessment has been carried out which will include details of the result and if they have accepted or declined an onwards referral to either the strength and balance team.  Recruitment of patients into the project will continue until mid-April 2017. The project will formally end 30 June 2018 and a final evaluation report will be available fairly shortly afterwards.

For more information about how the QTUG assessment is carried out please go to: http://www.kinesis.ie/docs/QTUG_QuickStartGuide.pdf

No personal identifiable information is stored on the device and it is HIPAA compliant – securely and automatically backs-up results to the cloud.   QTUG™ is a registered Class I medical device in the EU, under the MDD and carries the CE mark. Inertial sensor algorithms contained in Kinesis Gait™ and QTUG™ has been validated against gold standards for assessment of temporal and spatial gait parameters (optical motion capture system, force plate and GAIT Rite).

Get involved!

Should you run a community group and would like to be considered to be involved with the project we would love to hear from you! 

Please contact us via our website link or by e-mail at Testbed@sth.nhs.uk, Twitter at @Perfect pathway or by telephone on 0114 226 8837.