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FRAILMatics’ aim is to research and develop more accurate frailty tools that without expert input automatically identify subtle dysregulated responses to stressors across physiological systems.

This is being achieved by developing data-driven models and measures using data from TILDA, a large population-representative cohort of >8,000 community-dwelling individuals aged +50, that contain a vast amount of suitable cross-sectional and longitudinal data. TILDA is one of the most comprehensive research platforms in existence, nationally and internationally. With FRAILMatics, TILDA’s vast data resource is being leveraged for the first time through an SFI award. A key strength of TILDA is its longitudinal design, with detailed longitudinal health data spanning 10 years.

These models and measures are also being tested and validated in a smaller (n=100) clinical cohort recruited from ambulatory care clinics at the Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA) in St James’s Hospital, Dublin.

In TILDA health assessments, computer-based neurocognitive tests are used to measure response times and errors in tests of sustained attention (SART: sustained attention to response task) and choice reaction (CRT: choice reaction time), where participants experience the stress of time under specific test instructions involving a fine motor response. TILDA also has a vast cross-sectional and longitudinal dataset of automatically recorded gait parameters at the person’s preferred speed, under cognitive challenges, and at maximum speed (GAITRite® system). In both cohorts (TILDA and clinical), multiple cardiovascular parameters are non-invasively recorded continuously (with the Finometer®) during an active stand test, which challenges the ability of our body systems to compensate for a rapid change in position. We simultaneously record brain oxygenation parameters during the active stand with the PortaLite® NIRS system.

Real time physiological measurement generates vast amounts of data. To facilitate the large amount of computing power required by FRAILMatics’ research programme, SFI granted an infrastructure budget of circa €250,000 to purchase a new High Performance Computing (HPC) system based in TILDA. The HPC system is named 'Tinney' in honour of Sheila Christina Tinney, the first Irish-born and -raised woman to receive a doctorate in the mathematical sciences (1941, University of Edinburgh).

Over the span of the 5 year programme, FRAILMatics will generate a high volume of scientific publications and invention disclosures. At the end of the programme, FRAILMatics’ tools will be at an early stage of technology readiness, requiring new collaborations in the field of medical device trials.

Please feel free to browse our recent publications and to contact us with regards potential collaberations.