NeuRA Profile 2014 - page 10

Medical research isno longer a soloactivity; it takesplacevia cooperationandexchange
within teamsof like-minded individuals – scientists, researchassistants, PhD students
and technical andoperational staff. Teams atNeuRAwork together aspartners
towards their sharedgoals.
SHARED GOALS
exchange is SHARED GOALS
Inanygivenyear, aroundone thirdof peopleagedover65will experiencea fall.
DrKimDelbaere
(seated)with software
engineerTomDavies
and researchassistant
AshleyWoodbury.
E-healthenvironment isessential
Thepairmerges their disparatequalifications andunique
skill sets tocreateapps andonline tools that place theonus
onan individual tomanagehisor her owncareat home.
App-basedquestionnaires andbalance testsdesignedby
the teamarenowon themarket andarebeingusedby
clinicians, healthprofessionals and individuals to reduce
the riskof falls at home.
Themergingof technologyand science is anexciting
frontier that has seenNeuRAbecomea front-runner in
fall-relatedapp technology.
The self-management of falls risk is just oneof theways
NeuRA is embracingane-health solution.
Falls and fractures account formore thanhalf of all injury-
relatedhealthcarecosts, estimatedat over 500milliondollars
per year inAustralia.While the fear of fallingmaynot sound
likeamajor healthproblem, it canhave serious implications
for theelderly, someofwhom live inconstant fear theymight
tripand fall. As a result, they stopexercisingand stayhome
whichactuallycontributes toagreater chanceof havinga fall.
This canalso lead todepressionand lossof vital contactwith
friends, familyand theextendedcommunity.
Workingwith their previouslyestablished research
methodology, agroupofNeuRA researchers is investigating
thevarious reasonspeople fall. DrKimDelbaere is a scientist
andphysiotherapist, andTomDavies is a softwareengineer.
Anunlikelypair?Not really. Ina landscapeopening its
horizons toane-health future, their informationexchange
andcross-referencingof researchdataareessential.
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