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  • Collaborating for a Healthier Future: TAG4MHA's Guidance Shapes the ISHA Ecosystem

    The ISHA project is taking a significant step forward in its quest to revolutionize healthy ageing, following the Consultative Meeting of the WHO Technical Advisory Group on Measurement of Healthy Ageing (TAG4MHA) in Geneva. Held from April 12th to 14th, this pivotal event has provided critical guidance for the project, setting the stage for an innovative and effective approach to monitoring and enhancing the well-being of older adults worldwide. The event was organized by WHO, and attended by representatives worldwive, including founding members of the ISHA project: Dr. Jothees Amuthavalli Thiyagarajan; Professor Ivan Bautmans; and Rudi Tielemans. The TAG4MHA meeting focused on finalizing core indicators that will be used to monitor the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021-2030). A major outcome of the meeting was the development of draft recommendations and next steps for measuring intrinsic capacity and functional ability. These crucial factors underpin the ISHA project's ecosystem, and the guidance provided at the meeting will help ensure that our efforts are both scientifically rigorous and practical for real-world implementation. In addition to finalizing recommendations for intrinsic capacity and functional ability measurement, the meeting provided valuable insights on addressing challenges specific to the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing's action areas, including ageism, age-friendly environments, integrated care, and long-term care. Participants also discussed the development of an Ageing Survey Module for the WHO World Health Survey Plus (WHS+), which will further enhance our understanding of the ageing process and inform future interventions. With the guidance obtained from the TAG4MHA meeting, the ISHA project is well-prepared to embark on further work developing the fully functioning ecosystem, including software and hardware development and clinical studies. By incorporating the recommendations and insights gained from this meeting, we are well-equipped to make a lasting impact on the lives of older adults, promoting better health, independence, and overall well-being. Together, we can create a brighter future for ageing populations worldwide.

  • Eforto®: Revolutionizing Muscle Fatigability Monitoring and Empowering Aging Adults

    A recent publication in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research (Springer) on March 10th, 2023, highlights the validity and reliability of Eforto®, a groundbreaking system designed to monitor grip strength and muscle fatigability in older adults. Developed by a team led by Professor Ivan Bautmans from the Free University Brussels in collaboration with Instituto de Telecomunicações (Portugal) and UniWeb BV (Belgium), Eforto® is set to play an essential role in the ISHA ecosystem. The Power of Eforto®: Validity and Reliability The study conducted by the Eforto® team compared the system with the established Martin Vigorimeter (MV), demonstrating no significant differences between the two systems and excellent correlations for the measured outcomes. Moreover, Eforto® showed good intra-rater reliability in community-dwellers, which improved when the average values of two consecutive days were considered. Furthermore, the inter-rater reliability for hospitalized geriatric patients and patients with hip fracture was good to very good. These findings emphasize the effectiveness of Eforto® as a reliable tool for remote monitoring of physical reserves in older adults. Eforto® in the ISHA Ecosystem: Enhancing Remote Monitoring and Care As a vital component of the ISHA ecosystem, Eforto® will provide older adults with a user-friendly tool for self assessment of grip strength and muscle fatigability. This will open a path for early detection of age-related physical decline, encouraging proactive health management, and fostering prevention and timely intervention. Healthcare providers will benefit from standardized muscle strength and fatigue monitoring, enabling them to address issues before frailty and dependency symptoms appear and support at-home assessments. Looking Ahead: The Future of Eforto® Eforto® is set to play a transformative role in aging populations, revolutionizing the way physical reserves are monitored and managed. With ongoing commitment to research and development, the Eforto® team will continue to refine and expand the capabilities of this innovative system, making a lasting impact on healthy aging and healthcare management. Stay tuned for updates on future studies and the exciting advancements in store for Eforto® on its website: The publication can be accessed here:

  • A Digital Leap Forward: Kicking Off ISHA Project Virtually

    On December 24th, 2022, our consortium gathered virtually for an exciting project kick-off meeting. We came together to discuss the ISHA ecosystem's ambitions, our long-term goals, and the roles of each partner in the project. Here, we'd like to share some key moments from the meeting to keep everyone in the loop on our progress. During the meeting, Jotheeswaran Amuthavalli Thiyagarajan from the World Health Organization (WHO) outlined the ISHA ecosystem's ambition and the WHO's role in our project. We discussed how our project aligns with the WHO's mission to optimize healthy ageing and improve the quality of life for older adults worldwide. Next, we delved into the initial tests that will be used in the ISHA ecosystem, presented by Jotheeswaran Amuthavalli Thiyagarajan from the WHO. Cindel Bonneux from UniWeb then showcased the Eforto® system as an inspirational example for the ISHA tools and telemonitoring platform that will be essential parts of our innovative ecosystem. Emilia Gvozdenovic and Ivan Bautmans from VUB presented the revised timelines, partner roles, and actions needed to initiate the clinical studies in Work Package 3 (WP3). We encouraged partners to ask questions and engaged in an open discussion to identify and mitigate any possible risks for project implementation, discussion led by Norberta Balaisyte from UniWeb. Our virtual project kick-off meeting was a resounding success, as we came together to align our vision, discuss the practical aspects of the ISHA ecosystem, and lay the groundwork for our exciting journey ahead. With a strong foundation in place, we're eager to continue working collaboratively towards our goal of revolutionising healthy ageing for seniors around the world. Stay tuned for more updates on our progress!

  • Vitality Capacity: WHO's Game-Changing Publication for Healthy Longevity Monitoring

    We are excited to share a groundbreaking publication from our consortium members prof. Ivan Bautmans and PhD Jotheeswaran Amuthavalli Thiyagarajan, recently published in the Lancet Healthy Longevity in November 2022. The paper presents the World Health Organization's (WHO) working definition of Vitality Capacity: "vitality capacity is a physiological state (due to normal or accelerated biological ageing processes) resulting from the interaction between multiple physiological systems, reflected in (the level of) energy and metabolism, neuromuscular function, and immune and stress response functions of the body." This transformative definition sets the stage for revolutionizing the monitoring of vitality at multiple levels, empowering older individuals and healthcare providers alike. Empowering Older People with Innovative Tools and Techniques The publication emphasizes the importance of developing simple, non-invasive, and cost-effective tools to provide a comprehensive overview of an individual's vitality capacity. By doing so, older people will gain the ability to manage their lifestyle and behavior, ultimately taking control of their aging trajectory. The introduction of these self-assessment tools, combined with objective measures, will shift the healthcare paradigm from a curative focus to a preventive approach, leveraging the WHO's definition of vitality capacity. Shaping the Future of Personalized Care and Policy Making The measurement of vitality capacity, grounded in the WHO's definition, has the potential to revolutionize personalized care for older individuals. Healthcare professionals can use comprehensive longitudinal monitoring of healthy aging trajectories to estimate risks and deliver tailored interventions. This timely identification of older people at risk for declined vitality capacity will enable targeted support to optimize healthy aging and wellbeing. Furthermore, measuring vitality at the population level will provide valuable information for policy makers, helping them assess the necessary facilities to promote healthy aging within communities. The future of healthy longevity monitoring is upon us, and the WHO's definition of Vitality Capacity is set to pave the way for significant advancements in senior care. We eagerly await further research and development in this area, and encourage you to share your thoughts and ideas on the potential impacts of these breakthroughs. Full publication can be found here:

  • Revolutionising Senior Care: Early Frailty Detection & Health Maintenance Initiative

    As the global population ages, the need for senior care and healthy aging solutions continues to grow. The Consortium, composed of experts and organizations from various fields, has embarked on an ambitious mission to optimize healthy aging through the Integrated ecoSystem for Healthy Ageing (ISHA) project. This initiative focuses on early frailty detection and health maintenance, aiming to improve the quality of life for seniors and reduce the burden on healthcare systems. The Consortium's members recently convened at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva to kick off their new project. Founding members in attendance included Dr. Jothees Amuthavalli Thiyagarajan from WHO, Geneva; Professor Ivan Bautmans, Head of the Frailty in Ageing research group at the Free University Brussels; and Rudi Tielemans, CEO of UniWeb, a company specializing in digital health solutions. The consortium is composed of a diverse array of founding members, each with their own unique expertise and background. Among these are the National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University in Taiwan, where the University Hospital's geriatric clinic unit will be involved, specializing in cutting-edge technology and research. Leiehome, a Belgium-based SME with experience in senior care and health management, is also part of the consortium, as is IRCCS Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri in Italy, a renowned research and clinical institution; Instytut Matki i Dziecka in Poland; and Universitair Ziekenhuis Antwerpen, a hospital in Antwerp associated with Universiteit Antwerpen in Belgium. All of these institutions are leaders in the field of healthcare and medical research. By bringing together this diverse group of experts, the Consortium is well-equipped to address the multifaceted challenges of early frailty detection and health maintenance for seniors, ultimately driving advancements in the field of healthy ageing. Through a collaborative approach, shared goals, and dedicated funding, the Consortium aims to develop the ISHA digital ecosystem as a comprehensive and feasible tool for assessing and monitoring intrinsic capacity and functional ability in the context of healthy aging.

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