What We Learnt About Mobile Technology & Active Ageing

On Monday 6 May 2019, 42 healthcare practitioners came together for Healthy Retirement: Active Ageing for Mobile Technology. Held at the University Centre for Rural Health in Lismore, participants enjoyed a 2-course buffet dinner and got to know one another with short speed networking rounds.

Once connections were made and stomachs were filled, we moved into the lecture theatre to hear from three speakers. First up was Professor Andrea Maier, Divisional Director of Medicine and Community Care at the University of Melbourne. This was Professor Maier’s second visit to the North Coast, having presented the promising PreventIt program at our Artificial Intelligence symposium in June 2018.

Unfortunately, her update on the 3-year feasibility PreventIT trial wasn’t what we were expecting. Despite what appeared to be a propitious ICT intervention, the PreventIt program, made very little impact over the long haul.

We look forward to hearing what may come of PreventIt in the future and trust that there will be some key learnings that come from the $6 million project. As Denis Waitley famously said,

“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end.”


Next we heard from Associate Professor Kim Delbaere, Principal Research Scientist at NeuRA, a leader in brain and nervous system research. With the announcement that a Standing Tall Implementation Program would soon be launching in Lismore, hopes were once again restored for mobile technology and its use in strengthening the health of older people.

About Standing Tall

StandingTall is an engaging balance training program that is designed specifically for use by older people. It was developed using the latest insights in geriatric and translational neuroscience, and employs mobile (tablet) technology to deliver an effective method for improving balance and reducing fall risk.

StandingTall includes: effective, individually-tailored exercise prescription to improve balance ability and reduce fall risk in older people. It uses behavioural change techniques to enhance exercise uptake and long-term adherence, with optimal usability for older people to use independently at home.

By combining technology with research in fall prevention, StandingTall provides a radically new solution to support older adults to stay independent for longer and lower healthcare-related costs caused by falls.

Click here to download Associate Professor Kim Delbaere’s presentation.

Participants will be eligible for the program if they are:

  • aged ≥60 years
  • living in private households or retirement villages within the defined study sites (Mid-North Coast NSW, Northern NSW or Melbourne)
  • capable of independently mobilising within their own home

People with progressive neurological disease or an unstable medical condition that precludes exercise participation will be excluded.

If you have clients who fit the criteria please get in touch with

Leanne White

We also learnt that the Standing Tall Program has a new leaf, with the addition of a cutting-edge brain training program being added. The main goal is to help people think faster on their feet during daily activities. NeuRA is also collaborating with the Black Dog Institute to offer online cognitive behavioural therapy to address depressive thoughts and low mood.

The Standing Tall Plus Clinical Trial is a research study testing whether a home-based balance and cognitive exercise program can reduce the number of falls in older people over a 12-month follow-up period. This trial will be run in the Sydney metropolitan area. 

For more information contact


With special thanks to Lucy Kinsley at Richmond Tweed Library who spoke to us about how the Be Connected program can help practitioners encourage mobile technology as a tool for preventing age-related decline. The Be Connected program can help seniors to thrive in a digital world and will work one-on-one with seniors to get to grips with the different health apps and ICT interventions in use. Contact for more details.

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