SALLY. Frailty test assessment system


The Cuatroochenta Chair of Artificial Intelligence, Health and Welfare of the Universitat Jaume I and the start-up Kineactiv have developed a digital tool called SALLY (frailty test assessment system) that aims to help health professionals to detect cases of frailty among the elderly population. In our country, it is estimated that around 18% of people over 65 years of age are in a situation of frailty, according to data from the Spanish Government. Being a state of pre-disability as well as an initial stage of dependence, frailty can be identified, prevented and reversed. Its early detection makes it possible to implement interventions to delay its onset and enable the elderly person to enjoy a longer quality of life and greater autonomy and independence.

Following this objective, SALLY is a technology designed to comprehensively assess frailty in older people through various physical, cognitive and social exercises. It is based on the digitization of classical tests validated for the detection of frailty. This system also makes it possible to digitize the entire data collection process and facilitate monitoring and analysis by health professionals. The Chair has already carried out the first tests in senior centres.

Physical assessment through cameras with 3D technology

The system makes it possible to administer the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB). It is an instrument widely used in clinical contexts that evaluates three aspects of mobility: balance, walking speed and strength of limbs or lower extremities to get up from a chair. The system uses a 3D camera, similar to those used by the company Kineactiv to monitor rehabilitation exercises and to evaluate the kinematics of the human body. The application guides and assists the elderly person during the tests to speed up the work of healthcare personnel.

Gait speed test: The person is asked to walk at his/her usual pace for a distance of 4 meters. In the meantime, the system times the seconds it has taken to walk the distance from point to point. The gait speed test is one of the reference tests for early frailty assessment in the elderly according to the Consensus Document on Frailty and Falls Prevention in the Elderly of the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality of 2014.

Balance test: The person is asked to maintain balance for a few seconds several times, putting his feet in different positions each time.

Strength test: Getting up from a chair: Consists of, without using the support of the arms, getting up and sitting down 5 times from a chair.

Cognitive and social assessment

Sally has a mobile application for the elderly where they can take questionnaires for the detection of cognitive and social frailty, using the Pfeiffer scale and the Garre-Olmo scale respectively. In addition, other relevant data for the detection of physical frailty and biometric information of the elderly person can also be acquired through this platform.

Pfeiffer scale to assess mental fragility

This is a questionnaire to assess cognitive impairment, which consists of 10 short questions to explore different cognitive functions such as short and long term memory, orientation and calculation ability.

Social Fragility Scale (Garre-Olmo et al. 2013)

Collects information on who the person normally lives with, how often he/she sees family and friends, or whether he/she would have help if needed from significant others

Improved results management

In addition to the 3D camera and the mobile application, the Chair's team has developed a third platform consisting of a web application aimed at healthcare professionals that allows the frailty status of the elderly to be monitored. On this platform, health professionals will be able to consult all the information collected by the other two platforms in a synthesized and agile way and thus evaluate and monitor the health status of the elderly registered in the system. The implementation of SALLY within the health and social system would represent an advance in the detection of frailty, favouring early detection and, therefore, decision-making on the appropriate treatment for preventive purposes, before the degree of deterioration or dependence significantly alters the person's life.

SALLY is currently part of the project "Digitalisation of frailty assessment in elderly people with non-intrusive technologies" of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MCTI).