The standard "Timed Up and Go" (TUG) test for seniors is going high-tech. An Ireland-based startup company, Kinesis Health Technologies, has developed a wireless device that allows a healthcare provider to measure a person's mobility and assess falls risk.
Called QTUG (Quantitative Timed Up and Go), the system uses small wireless sensors that are strapped to a person's legs. Using Bluetooth technology, these sensors transmit to a touchscreen tablet computer walking data including speed and shifts in weight and can therefore provide a quantitative assessment of mobility and falls risk.
Such data also are compared with a reference population based on age and gender and stored so that any deterioration of a person's gait or balance over time can be noted.