Can Smartphone and Teleconferencing Technology be Used to Deliver an Effective Home Exercise Intervention to Prevent Falls Amongst Community Dwelling Older People?

A Feasibility RCT

Older lady

Falls lead to injury, loss of independence and death for older adults. Targeted home-exercise, including exercises to strengthen muscles and improve balance, is proven to prevent falls. However, older adults do not always maintain their exercises nor do them regularly enough to gain the benefits.

This National Institute of Health Research funded study explores whether smartphone technology can be used to support patients to adhere to an evidence-based falls exercise programme.

Two motivational smartphone applications (health professional/patient) based on goal-setting and personalised feedback are being used to support patients to adhere to their prescribed exercise programme.

Five community services who deliver falls rehabilitation are identifying patients and delivering the intervention. 72 patients who are willing to participate will be recruited and randomised to either the standard service provided or the standard service and use of smartphone. All participants wear the smartphone as a falls detector/alarm and report their exercises on the phone.

This study is a feasibility trial looking at acceptability of design and procedures, before a full-scale trial looking at the effectiveness of the technology.

The intervention has potential to increase support/motivation which should lead to increased adherence and exercise progression/dose, assisting maintenance of health and re-access to services.

The Together trial is exploring how we can use technology to enhance our falls services and support older adults to maintain their independence.

Dr Helen Hawley-Hague, The University of Manchester

Principle Investigator

Manchester Co-Investigators

  • Professor Chris Todd
  • Dr Ting-Li Su

Additional Universities/External Partners

  • The University of Bologna
  • mHealth Technologies srl
  • m2m Intelligence
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Centre for Health Economics, University of York


  • National Institute of Health Research

Funding period

  • January 2016 - July 2020