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KOKU Health: Falls prevention for older adults

KOKU Health Ltd. is a spinout from The University of Manchester established to deploy a digital health app for falls prevention and health literacy, to older adults.

Falls are the largest cause of emergency hospital admissions for older people, costing the NHS £4.4 billion and the US $50 billion each year. They are also considered one the most common catalysts for an accelerated loss of independence. Years of scientific research have shown that specific strength and balance exercise programmes reduce falls by up to 42%; these as a stand-alone intervention are the most cost-effective approach to falls prevention. However, exercises need to be progressive and prescribed, and are not widely known or available.

KOKU Health Ltd. has been established to commercialise KOKU (Keep-On-Keep-Up) – a gamified falls prevention application created for tablet technology. The app promotes access to and engagement with evidence-based OTAGO-FaME strength and balance exercises, which were specifically developed to improve function and prevent falls.

Watch a demo of the KOKU app below:

The app is cost-effective and draws on health behaviour change theory and gamification to increase adherence to evidence-based exercises. KOKU also includes health literacy games to improve awareness of actions to promote bone health, nutrition, safety at home, and hydration. The app has been designed with patients and can be used independently of a healthcare practitioner.

Key features:

  • KOKU has been tested by older adults in the UK, Europe and the US, and has been shown to be acceptable and easy to use. Users reported physical and psychological benefits.
  • ORCHA – the world’s leading health app evaluation organization – has awarded KOKU an ORCHA score of 81%, one of the highest approval scores of a physical activity app.
  • Developed with older adults, for older adults, by Dr Emma Stanmore from The University of Manchester’s Healthy Ageing Research Group

KOKU is available to download on tablet for iOS and Android, from the App Store and Google Play