Innovation and technology for active ageing

10 November 2023

“TECNALIA’s goal in the field of active and healthy ageing is to use technology to improve people’s health and well-being”

TECNALIA promotes the development of personalised products and services in the stages of prevention, diagnosis and treatment through a comprehensive approach aimed at active and healthy ageing

TECNALIA develops technological solutions aimed at improving people’s quality of life by preventing risks and illnesses, maintaining their physical and cognitive capabilities, and keeping active and taking part in society.

This is what TECNALIA is showcasing these days at the Adinberri Silver Forum; the first International Silver Economy Forum in the Basque Country. It will have monitoring and diagnostic biosensors that enable disease screening, prevention and early detection, as well as monitoring and predicting response to treatment.

Innovation and technology for active ageing

The aim is to develop healthy environments that preserve and improve people’s health and quality of life. That is why TECNALIA focuses its technological activity on the transformation of health and long-term care systems, food, transportation, housing, city, and workplaces”. TECNALIA has a combination of technological solutions aimed at promoting healthy ageing by preventing risks and illnesses, maintaining their physical and cognitive capabilities, and keeping active and taking part in society.

In the field of healthy eating, TECNALIA develops active ingredients to create healthier, more balanced foods with greater nutritional value (fat reduction, high-fibre food, with omega 3, etc.). These active compounds (with sterols, probiotics, vitamins, prebiotics, synbiotics, etc.) have an effect on the prevention of high-incidence diseases such as metabolic syndrome, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, etc.

Devices for optimised training

TECNALIA develops devices that facilitate the assessment and training of functional capacity, and more specifically people’s postural control/balance to reduce the risk of falls. It also offers solutions for the personalisation and optimisation of strength training programmes for older people.

By combining electrophysiological signal measurement technologies, electrical stimulation and AI algorithms, the aim is to determine the ideal training frequency for each person and muscle group. Physical training solutions are complemented by cognitive and sensory training by means of a platform for personalised content creation using VR and/or AR technology.

Biosensors and health monitoring

In the field of diagnostic biosensors, which are portable devices for in-vitro and in-vivo diagnostics and monitoring, it offers solutions for health monitoring using non-invasive electrophysiological and electrochemical sensors. TECNALIA has developed biosensors based on a multi-electrode patch to detect biomarkers related to stress (cortisol), fatigue (lactate), hydration (sodium), heart rate and temperature.

These wearable solutions can be used to detect risk factors in the older people. They also use multi-field electrode technology for physical capacity enhancement and enable muscle activation or tactile feedback, for example, and even the integration of electrodes into textiles to create wearables.

New drugs

TECNALIA has also designed and developed new drugs specifically for older people, making it easier for them to take and follow treatments with more pleasant drug formats. Included in this area is the technology of 3D printing of drugs to help generate more personalised medication in examples such as polymedication.

Healthy environments

And another of its fields of action is the so-called “age-friendly” cities: TECNALIA is working on the development of an urban planning tool for age-friendly cities based on digital twin technology. In this sense, an age-friendly route planner can help older people with their mobility in their surroundings.