Login / Register


Password: [Lost?]

New User? Click here for your FREE subscription

Healthcare Professionals
Healthcare Professionals Healthcare Professionals

Follow Us

NEWS-Line on Twitter NEWS-Line on Facebook NEWS-Line on Google+ NEWS-Line on LinkedIn NEWS-Line on Pinterest

Healthcare Conferences &
Educational Opportunities

March 6 - 08

2020 Western Regional Occupational Therapy Spring Symposium

OT Associations of CA, ID, HI, AZ, NV, NM, UT

April 21 - 24

Atlanta CME Conference

Skin, Bones, Hearts & Private Parts

June 9 - 12

Destin CME Conference

Skin, Bones, Hearts & Private Parts

July 10 - 12

ASHA Connect 2020

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

July 10 - 12

19th Annual Primary Care Focus Symposium

Baptist Health South Florida Continuing Medical Education

More Events

App To Improve Lives Of Older Adults Is Set For First Major User Tests | NEWS-Line for Healthcare Professionals

App To Improve Lives Of Older Adults Is Set For First Major User Tests


A new app that aims to improve the functional lives of older adults is about to get its first major user tests.

Developed at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) through a collaboration that began in 2015 between the College of Nursing, the Department of Psychology and the Department of Art, Art History & Design, the app is called mPACT, for mobile Physical Activity Training.

It integrates low impact physical activity in the form of chair exercises with colorful brain training games that have been proven to improve cognitive function and mind-body coordination. Participants win gold star rewards for their successes and improvements.

“Research has shown that physical activity and brain training will improve cognition,” says Dr. Lenora Smith, an assistant professor of nursing and distinguished educator in gerontological nursing. The new app is the first time anyone has combined the two in a single venue, she says.

Testing will begin under a grant from the American Nurses Foundation, says Dr. Smith, the project’s principal investigator. The 50 test participants will wear Fitbit devices to assess their heart rates as they use the app.

“This will be a one-year study to assess the usability, or ease of use, of the mPACT app and provide feedback for revisions and improvements,” Dr. Smith says. “We want to see whether they reach their target heart rate while using it for aerobic exercise, with the end goal of improving cognition in people with mild cognitive impairment.”

The study will also assess the amount of low-impact exercise necessary for someone to reach target heart range, Dr. Smith says.

“We hope with this grant to do more gamification of this app and exploit those features to encourage users to do the exercises,” says Vinny Argentina, an assistant professor of art, amination and game design who teamed up with Dr. Smith on the project along with Chuck O’Brien, a lecturer in art, amination and game design, and Dr. Jodi Price, chair of the Department of Psychology, who is an expert in cognitive aging.

Exercise is crucial to seniors’ mobility and “the brain games are also a psychological necessity to cognition,” O’Brien says.

With input from Dr. Smith and Dr. Price, the pair are responsible for the current look and feel of the app, which initially targets people who have mild cognitive impairment that may be improved by a combination of physical and cognitive exercise. Its future scope could broaden to people in their 40s and 50s, as a preventative measure.

Argentina and O’Brien will use study results to answer questions about the intuitive operability of the app and how appealing it is for users over protracted periods of use. Dr. Smith says information about the user experience of the study participants will be critical.

“What’s their take on the usability of the app and how much exercise are they doing?” she asks.

Past study has already assessed how older adults relate to various commercial apps, informing the design of mPACT, which features larger type and other features catering to older users. Future versions will incorporate a social media function and cumulative gold star scoring, so that users can communicate and compete.

Source:University of Alabama Huntsville

Photo Credit:Michael Mercier / UAH

Pictured:Dr. Lenora Smith is the principal investigator for the mPACT study.

Share This!

Healthcare Jobs

Registered Nurse (RN) - Home Health Visits,

BAYADA Home Health Care
Baltimore, MD

Medical Social Worker, MSW, Home Health Care

BAYADA Home Health Care
Columbia, MD

Registered Nurse (RN) - Home Health Weekends

BAYADA Home Health Care
Gaithersburg, MD

Counselor, Chemical Dependency

Tarzana Treatment Centers
Long Beach, CA

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Part Time Instructor Pool

Cuesta College
San Luis Obispo, CA

RN Openings & Residential Nurse: (LPN) 1 First Shift, Full Time

Northeastern Center
Northeast, Indiana

More Jobs
(Dismiss) Thank you for visiting NEWS-Line! Please sign up, login, or follow us on your favorite social networks
to receive custom tailored eNews, job listings, and educational opportunities for your specific profession.