Hospital Fit, improving physical behavior
Upon hospitalisation elderly patients behave less active than they are capable of. Limited physical activity leads to function loss. This increases hospitalisation time and has a negative effect on several health parameters. Physical activity should therefore be promoted during the hospital stay. For this purpose the Maastricht UMC+, Maastricht University and Maastricht Instruments BV are developing an evidence-based eHealth application, called Hospital Fit. It comprises a smartphone app connected to the MOX activity tracker worn on the upper leg. The app provides information to both the patient and the physiotherapist.
In 2016, 31% of Dutch healthcare expenditures was spend on hospital care. One of the factors that contributes to these high costs is the low amount of physical activity during hospitalisation, which can induce complications such as pneumonia, deep vein thrombosis, pressure ulcers and loss of muscle mass. If the Hospital Fit application could increase physical activity and thereby reduce the length of stay with 0.25 days, than an average hospital that continuously treats 100 patients could realise a cost saving of € 328.500. If all hospitalised elderly patients (>65 years) in the Netherlands would use the application it would mean a cost saving of 45 million euro on the healthcare costs.
This project focuses on research and clinical pilot testing on:
- Algorithm development to differentiate between standing and slow walking for hospitalised patients specifically.
- Personal goal setting systems for patient motivation.
- Multi-disciplinary care professional insight in physical activity.
The result will be a well-functioning app that can be used during the physiotherapeutic treatment of hospitalised patients. Addressing the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle during hospitalisation is also a small extra step that will add to the general goal of enhancing awareness of the positive effects of a more active lifestyle that we try to implement in society.