A review of activity trackers for senior citizens: research perspectives, commercial landscape and the role of the insurance industry

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Tedesco, Salvatore
Barton, John
O'Flynn, Brendan
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The objective assessment of physical activity levels through wearable inertial-based motion detectors for the automatic, continuous and long-term monitoring of people in free-living environments is a well-known research area in the literature. However, their application to older adults can present particular constraints. This paper reviews the adoption of wearable devices in senior citizens by describing various researches for monitoring physical activity indicators, such as energy expenditure, posture transitions, activity classification, fall detection and prediction, gait and balance analysis, also by adopting consumer-grade fitness trackers with the associated limitations regarding acceptability. This review also describes and compares existing commercial products encompassing activity trackers tailored for older adults, thus providing a comprehensive outlook of the status of commercially available motion tracking systems. Finally, the impact of wearable devices on life and health insurance companies, with a description of the potential benefits for the industry and the wearables market, was analyzed as an example of the potential emerging market drivers for such technology in the future.
Wearable sensors , Physical activity , Healthcare , Insurance , Older adults , Activity trackers
Tedesco, S., Barton, J. and O’Flynn, B. (2017) 'A Review of Activity Trackers for Senior Citizens: Research Perspectives, Commercial Landscape and the Role of the Insurance Industry', Sensors, 17(6), 1277 (39 pp). doi:10.3390/s17061277
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