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International Journal on Disability and Human Development

Official journal of the the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Israel

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board Member: Brooks, Tony / Carmeli, Eli / Dalton, Arthur J / Davidson, Philip W / Galil, Ahron / Heller, Tamar / Huff, Marlene B. / Janicki, Matthew P. / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Lindström, Bengt / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / Prasher, Vee / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Stratakis, Constantine A / Postolache, Teodor T.

4 Issues per year



Wearable device to assist independent living

1 / Veronika M. Williams2 / Christina R. Victor2 / Andrew P. Harvey1 / Samuel R. Nyman3 / Julie Barrett1 / Harriet Hogarth1 / Peter Levene4 / Robert Smith4 / Paul Panek5 / Georg Edelmayer5 / Peter Mayer5 / Philip Needham6 / Nikos Floratos7

1School of Systems Engineering, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, Berkshire, UK

2School of Health Sciences and Social Care, Brunel University, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK

3School of Design, Engineering and Computing, Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus, Poole, Dorset, UK

4Docobo Limited, Bookham, Surrey, UK

5Fortec, Technical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

6Cardionetics Limited, Grenville Place, Bracknell, Berkshire, UK

7e-ISOTIS, Athens, Greece

Corresponding author: Professor Rachel J. McCrindle, University of Reading, School of Systems Engineering, Whiteknights, PO Box 225, Reading, Berkshire, RG6 6AY, UK

Citation Information: International Journal on Disability and Human Development. Volume 10, Issue 4, Pages 349–354, ISSN (Online) 2191-0367, ISSN (Print) 2191-1231, DOI: 10.1515/IJDHD.2011.052, November 2011

Publication History

Published Online:


Older people increasingly want to remain living independently in their own homes. The aim of the ENABLE project is to develop a wearable device that can be used to support older people in their daily lives and which can monitor their health status, detect potential problems, provide activity reminders and offer communication and alarm services. In order to determine the specifications and functionality required for the development of the device, user surveys and focus groups were undertaken, use case analysis and scenario modeling carried out. The project has resulted in the development of a wrist-worn device and mobile phone combination that can support and assist older and vulnerable wearers with a range of activities and services both inside their home and as they move around their local environment. The device is currently undergoing pilot trials in five European countries. The aim of this paper is to describe the ENABLE device, its features and services, and the infrastructure within which it operates.

Keywords: assistive technology; independence; older people; wrist-worn device

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