Innovative technology aimed at preventing falls has received approval from a prestigious health body.

GaitSmart, aimed at reducing falls and frailty, has been awarded Nice (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) status after a successful pilot programme with Age UK Norwich, among other national trials.

GaitSmart is a proactive rehabilitation exercise programme that analyses a person's gait biomechanics, or walking patterns.

This analysis offers healthcare professionals a clear understanding of factors which could contribute to a fall, such as balance issues, muscle weakness and gait asymmetry.

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The technology has been used by health coaches at Age UK Norwich, who specialise in physical recovery.

The coaches have been aiding residents to recover from debilitating experiences such as falls or surgeries such as hip or knee replacements.

More than 110,000 people aged over 65 are living with a degree of frailty in Norfolk, making falls a leading cause of injury and hospitalisation for older adults in the area.

Chief executive of Age UK Norwich, Dan Skipper, said: “Bringing together our Health Coaching and GaitSmart technology has been incredibly successful, helping us support clients to improve their strength, balance and confidence to aid their recovery.

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"The combination of technology and human support from our coaches has shown how we can support people in the communities where they live to prevent frailty, maintain health, and independence."

Diana Hodgins MBE, founder and chief executive of Dynamic Metrics, the company which created GaitSmart, said: “Our aim has always been to deliver the highest quality gait rehabilitation solution for people and to make it affordable for widespread use.

"Nice guidance for use in falls and frailty is key to helping the wider population and we are delighted that GaitSmart has been recognised for its potential to make such a difference in this area."