Seated Exercise Technology (SET) in an integrated solution for walking and balance rehabilitation

SET is an integrated solution for treatment and analysis of walking and balance, to assist with rehabilitation for elderly and neurologically impaired people. The solution incorporates monitors to assess balance with a device that allows the user to train for walking while seated – making it easier for rehabilitation professionals to optimise personal training.


In 2015 in the EU28, there were 46 million falls among older people. Falls and fall injuries are major predictors of loss of independence and admission to long-term care, which can double or triple a senior’s cost of care. In the EU, the direct cost of fragility fractures has reached €31.7 billion per year. By monitoring the risk of falls, and providing exercise to prevent them, SET’s integrated approach to fall prevention will contribute to reduction of this huge expenditure.


Dr. Giulio Valenti, Research Scientist at Philips Research and SET leader, has a background in biomedical engineering and movement science, and has lead European collaborations to develop mobility monitoring solutions for people at high falls-risk. Prof. Cornelius Bollheimer, who chairs the geriatric clinic at RWTH Aachen and Prof. Dr. Steffen Leonhardt, head of the medical IT institute at RWTH Aachen, are responsible for SET clinical intervention and verification. Prof. Alon Wolf is responsible for SET’s lab evaluation at his Biomechanics Lab in the Technion, Haifa. Dr. Zicherman is responsible for SET marketing.

The project

SET combines two validated types of devices: Balanseat trains walking to those elderly who lack the power to exercise their walking, or those who need walking preservation training until they are allowed to walk again. GoSafe and IPANEMA are sensors that can monitor users in their daily routine. Monitoring aspects such as walking and balance quality can allow for control of outcomes and stratification of users, thus assisting the care professional to further optimise personalised training.

Users at risk of falling will be screened for walking quality with sensors, and referred to SET rehabilitation when it becomes relevant. During rehabilitation, outcomes will be constantly analysed by the SET solution. Modification and personalisation of rehabilitation will be proposed by SET, with the aim of improving the rehabilitation of the elderly and also increasing efficiency and reducing treatment costs, for the benefit of the users, caregivers and health systems.

EIT Health support will allow SET to validate this integrated solution. SET sensors for measuring walking quality will be validated in a walking laboratory on healthy users and on frail elderly. After this, the validated solution will be tested in nursing home inhabitants, to evaluate its clinical and economic value.


An integrated solution that allows monitoring of walking and personalised rehabilitation programmes would improve the lives of people who need this rehabilitation. By supporting rehabilitation and fall prevention, this solution might also help seniors to cope with frailty. Consequently, society and the healthcare system would benefit by reducing the high costs of frailty.

Why this is an EIT Health project

The SET project pursues the goals of the EIT Health Focus Area of Care Pathways by targeting treatment of walking problems and possibly changing the trajectory of an ageing person’s health and supporting fall prevention. In addition, it is in line with the Focus Area of Bringing Care Home by developing a rehabilitation solution that might be used at home in the future.

External partner

  • Mopair Technologies


Assisted movement training such as SET represents a great potential to improve balance and gait ability of elderly people with high fall-risk.

Univ.-Prof.Dr. med. Cornelius Bollheimer, Chair and Director Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at Franziskushospital

Giulio Valenti
| Research Scientist | Philips Electronics Nederland B.V.