Urban Vitality

Elderly recovering from Covid-19 monitored with sensors

2 Jul 2020 14:09 | Urban Vitality

Elderly individuals recovering from COVID-19 will be receiving remote support for the next six months in a new research project being conducted by Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS), GRZPLUS and HipperTherapeutics. Their recovery is being closely monitored with wearable sensors. In addition, they will be able to consult care providers in video calls.

People recovering from a coronavirus infection will often have serious respiratory complaints and a lack of energy for a lengthy period, as well as finding physical exertion difficult. They need to distribute their energy carefully over the course of a day. In order to be able to better address these patients' problems during the initial stage of recovery, AUAS and GRZPLUS (a partnership between De Zorgcirkel and Omring) will be providing extra monitoring of COVID-19-patients for a brief period.

Objective data from sensors

The elderly individuals participating in the project are fitted with wearable sensors on their bodies. The sensors generate objective data on their daily performance and physical recovery. The patients are able to consult their own data, as are their care providers, which can then serve as topic of conversation. This system involving wearable sensors, called Hipper, was developed earlier by AUAS lecturer-researcher Margriet Pol, and is already successfully being implemented by GRZPLUS to monitor elderly patients recovering from fractured hips.

Foto: opleiding Ergotherapie


The aim of this project is to allow care providers to respond more quickly when patients are encountering difficulties in allocating their energy throughout the day, or are experiencing difficulties in activities of daily life. People often also experience emotional problems when recovering from COVID-19.

In order to provide the patients with extra support, the participants can also make video calls with their care providers in between their regular appointments, for example every week or every other week. This is intended by the researchers to provide extra monitoring of patients whose rehabilitation and recovery is currently still often unpredictable.

Educational aspect

The results of this project will be incorporated in the Occupational Therapy , Physiotherapy and Exercise Therapy degree programmes, as well as in the Healthcare Technology minor. GRZPLUS and AUAS are involved in a structural partnership, with GRZPLUS offering a learning environment (a ‘living lab’) in which AUAS students are able to work on various projects.

COVID-19: Science for Professional Practice

GRZPLUS, AUAS (Urban Vitality) and HipperTherapeutics are receiving a grant for this project as part of the ZonMw ‘COVID-19: Science for Professional Practice’ programme. Thanks to this ZonMW grant, the project can start this month.

More information

Would you like to know more about the eCOFIT+ project? Send an email to Bart Visser, AUAS professor of Exercise Therapy, or write to Marije Holstege, senior researcher at GRZPLUS.