Living healthier with media technology

Date: Mon, 09/23/2013 - 19:16

St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences founds center for applied research in media assisted health care
Living healthier with media technology


Image creditet to UAS

St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences (UAS), Austria, is founding a center for applied research on media-assisted health care called CARMA (Center for Applied Research in Media Assisted Health Care for Motion and Activity), which will be completed by 2016. Some of the Center's projects will be presented at the European Researchers' Night on 27 September in St. Pölten.
Having the right music in their ears can help athletes to achieve top performances as well as can help to better control the desired running pace during training. Certain rhythms have different individual effects on running speed and health-relevant parameters, and thus indirectly influence training intensity.
During running, a smartphone could measure the heart rate, for example, and provide a musical feedback system to control the training. If the heart rate is too low or too high for the desired training effect, music is played that helps the athlete subconsciously to run faster or slower.

However, CARMA aims to do more than help ambitious athletes to achieve better results. Media-assisted feedback that takes individual physiological preconditions into account is playing an increasingly prominent role in health prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. CARMA is therefore developing, among other things, assistance systems that foster independence and activity into old age. The University's physiotherapy course plays a leading role in the development of this approach. It studies how prevention, therapy and rehabilitation can be optimised through the use of digital technologies, particularly in young people.
"The project is a perfect fit for EU initiatives on eHealth and demographic change. It provides solutions for the future problems of a changing society," says Jakob Doppler, co-initiator of CARMA and a researcher at the Institute for Creative\Media/Technologies (IC\M/T) at St. Pölten UAS. The Institute develops and tests technical sensors and analysis and feedback systems for CARMA.

As part of the project, physiotherapists at St. Pölten UAS are researching the health aspects of media-assisted health care. "We already know how music can be used to regulate walking and running speed. However, we do not yet know how we can exploit this effect in the area of rehabilitation, for example in the gait training of patients with artificial limbs. This is one of the research goals we will pursue at CARMA," says Brian Horsak, another co-initiator of CARMA and a researcher in the Bachelor programme in physiotherapy at St. Pölten UAS.

On 27 September, St. Pölten UAS will present CARMA and other research projects to a large audience as part of European Researchers' Night. The event will take place simultaneously in over 300 European cities - St. Pölten is its only Austrian venue.
Shows, experiments, workshops, installations and lectures will bring the world of science closer to old and young in the capital city of the State of Lower Austria. Under the motto "Destination Future", St. Pölten UAS will present projects on the topics of media, health, living, mobility, life, history and technology.
"We are delighted to be able to bring European Researchers' Night to St. Pölten. It will enable us to present our excellent research work in an accessible way and to give people an insight into our most exciting projects," says Hannes Raffaseder, Rector of St. Pölten UAS, Head of the CARMA project and coordinator of the St. Pölten contribution to European Researchers' Night.

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