One in three people over the age of 65 falls yearly, and the implications of falls in older age are devastating on an individual and societal level. Mobility deterioration in older age is a multi-factorial process, involving sensorimotor, cognitive and emotional factors and limiting community participation. In the modern era, requirements for participation in the community are greater than before since they include technology planned by, and aimed for the young generation. This presents a series of challenges, but also opportunities, for older adults. The laboratory for Mobility in the Technological Era explores these challenges and opportunities by adopting a multi-faceted approach involving both laboratory and field exploration for understanding the mechanisms underlying mobility control and its deterioration in older age as well as in clinical populations, in order to promote the development of novel technologies for assessment and intervention.
Current and past studies at the lab are done in collaboration with faculty within University of Haifa (Dr. Rachel Kizony and Prof. Tamar Weiss, Occupational Therapy; Dr. Maayan Agmon, Nursing; Dr. Joel Lanir, Information systems) and other institutions in Israel and abroad, including New York University (Dr. Anat Lubetzky), Tel-Aviv University (Dr. Jason Friedman), Rambam hospital (Dr. Eyal Fruchter) and Sheba medical center (Pediatric Rehabilitation Department, Center for Advanced Technologies in Rehabilitation).
The lab is equipped with state-of-the-art motion capture and sensing technologies, including:
· Xsens MVN Link system, an IMU-based high-end motion capture system providing seamless integration with virtual reality environments and high-resolution kinematics for gait and balance measurement.
· Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) for measurement of cortical activation during balance and gait (prefrontal cortex).
· HTC Vive Head-mounted display.
· Kinesis Gait, a portable clinical tool for measurement of spatiotemporal gait parameters.