PhD Studentship - Wearable Sensor-based assessment of frailty

NetwellCASALA currently have two fully-funded PhD studentships available. Each successful candidate shall receive a postgraduate stipend of €16,000 per annum, plus fees and a contribution to their direct research project costs. The duration of each PhD studentship is 3 years.

Application Process: Please send a copy of your CV and a cover letter to [email protected] no later than 4 pm on Thursday 14th March 2019.

Please use “PhD application" in the subject title. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview. Informal inquiries on each project should be sent to the Project Supervisors listed below. See the following link for more information https://www.dkit.ie/research-and-innovation/phd-studentships.html

Project title: Wearable sensor-based assessment of frailty

Position reference number: DkIT PhD 4

Supervisors: Dr. Oonagh Giggins, Dr. Julie Doyle

Eligibility Criteria:

  • 1st or 2.1 honours degree in Physiotherapy, Sport & Exercise Sciences, or other relevant area

  • Experience in exercise physiology, exercise testing, movement analysis, and collecting and analyzing data

  • Experience using sensing and interactive technologies and in working with older adults and clinical populations. Informal Inquiries: [email protected]

Project Summary: The geriatric syndrome of frailty is one of the greatest challenges facing our ageing population. Frailty places older adults at risk of falls, delirium, hospitalizations, and mortality. Identifying individuals at risk of frailty (pre-frail adults) would enable healthcare providers to intervene earlier so as to mitigate some of the potential adverse sequelae. Reliable and accurate measurements of physical functioning that allow for determination of older adults’ frailty status are required as this could lead to targeted interventions, reducing the risk of progression to frailty. The aim of this research is to investigate whether wearable sensor can be used to provide longitudinal and detailed assessment of physical function in unsupervised and natural living environments, and therefore discriminate between frail and non-frail community-dwelling older adults. This research will enroll community-dwelling adults aged > 65 years. Participants will be visited in their home or assisted living setting for data collection. This will involve gathering baseline participant profile information (including a frailty assessment which will classify participants as non-frail and pre-frail/frail using the validated Fried frailty index) as well as completing a traditional mobility assessment. Participants will wear a sensor kit during the mobility assessment to capture objective physical function data. After the session participants will be asked to continue to wear the sensor kit for the following 48hrs and this process will be repeated at 3-months and at 6-months.