Identifying facilitators and barriers for monitoring physical frailty at home using technology.

The NHS Long Term Plan signals a shift towards proactively identifying, assessing and supporting patients at higher risk of frailty to help them stay independent longer, using home-based monitoring to prevent incidents that would otherwise lead to hospital admission. There are currently no means of ongoing monitoring for frailty in older adults. Consequently, the condition develops and opportunities for preventative initiatives and points of intervention are missed.

In response, we propose the implementation of a network of simple yet accurate tools that people can use to quickly and regularly measure some of the strongest indicators of frailty, based on the phenotype model, in their own homes; walking speed, grip strength, weight, physical activity and exhaustion. We envision a system that facilitates the regular collection of data from these measurement tools in a minimally obtrusive fashion and enables real-time feedback to the user, carers and/or care professionals.

We have been working with older people, health and care professionals and industry colleagues to co-design this system. Our next steps will be to develop the co-designed system and evaluate it, working with health providers and people living with frailty.