App-Based Evaluation of Older People’s Fall Risk Using the mHealth App Lindera Mobility Analysis: Exploratory Study

Nicole Strutz*, Hanna Brodowski, Joern Kiselev, Anika Heimann-Steinert, Ursula Müller-Werdan

*Corresponding author for this work

Abstract

Background: Falls and the risk of falling in older people pose a high risk for losing independence. As the risk of falling progresses over time, it is often not adequately diagnosed due to the long intervals between contacts with health care professionals. This leads to the risk of falling being not properly detected until the first fall. App-based software able to screen fall risks of older adults and to monitor the progress and presence of fall risk factors could detect a developing fall risk at an early stage prior to the first fall. As smartphones become more common in the elderly population, this approach is easily available and feasible. Objective: The aim of the study is to evaluate the app Lindera Mobility Analysis (LIN). The reference standards determined the risk of falling and validated functional assessments of mobility. Methods: The LIN app was utilized in home- and community-dwelling older adults aged 65 years or more. The Berg Balance Scale (BBS), the Tinetti Test (TIN), and the Timed Up & Go Test (TUG) were used as reference standards. In addition to descriptive statistics, data correlation and the comparison of the mean difference of analog measures (reference standards) and digital measures were tested. Spearman rank correlation analysis was performed and Bland-Altman (B-A) plots drawn. Results: Data of 42 participants could be obtained (n=25, 59.5%, women). There was a significant correlation between the LIN app and the BBS (r=–0.587, P<.001), TUG (r=0.474, P=.002), and TIN (r=–0.464, P=.002). B-A plots showed only few data points outside the predefined limits of agreement (LOA) when combining functional tests and results of LIN. Conclusions: The digital app LIN has the potential to detect the risk of falling in older people. Further steps in establishing the validity of the LIN app should include its clinical applicability.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere36872
JournalJMIR Aging
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01.07.2022

Research Areas and Centers

  • Health Sciences

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-24 Geriatric Medicine and the Biology of Ageing
  • 409-05 Interactive and Intelligent Systems, Image and Language Processing, Computer Graphics and Visualisation

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