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Alberta Seniors AVOIDing Frailty

Alberta Seniors AVOIDing Frailty

Increased longevity raises the risk for frailty, multimorbidity, and overall reduced quality of life (QoL). Today, these challenges affect about 25% of Canadians, projected to be over 30% by 2030. Fortunately, the trajectory of aging can be altered to delay and prevent frailty.

AVOID (Activity and exercise, Vaccinations, Optimization of medications, social Interaction, and Diet & nutrition) is a frailty prevention intervention developed by the Canadian Frailty Network, to help older adults

  • Be aware of their frailty concerns and delay or even reverse their progression;
  • Adopt and maintain healthy behaviours that contribute to healthy aging at home;
  • Recommend to them programs in the community that can best mitigate their frailty indicators;
  • Monitor and maintain their physical, cognitive, and mental health;
  • Connect them to people with similar interests, in a gamified context; and
  • Enhance their overall quality of life.

The AVOID intervention relies on a digital platform that educates older adults and guides them to take advantage of services in their community and adopt behavior changes that can help them live healthier and longer.

The Platform Functionalities

Our Interdisciplinary Team

Dr. Eleni Stroulia

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The team lead, Dr. Eleni Stroulia, is a Full Professor at the Computing Science Department, of the University of Alberta. Her research addresses real-world problems with digital technologies, relying on artificial intelligence and machine-learning methods.

Dr. Adriana Maria Ríos Rincón

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Dr. Adri Rincón is an Associate Professor with the Occupational Therapy Department of the University of Alberta. She is an expert in assistive technologies for increasing the level of functioning, capacity, and participation in older adults and individuals with limitations and disabilities.

Kara Allanach

Kara, a Science & Technology Consultant with 20 years of experience, is the project manager.

Dr. Victor Fernandez Cervantes

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Victor is the Founder of Virtual Gym, and is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Computing Science Department, of the University of Alberta.

Mashrura Tasnim

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Mashrura is an expert in speech analysis, and a PhD candidate at the Computing Science Department, of the University of Alberta.

Farnaz Koubasi


Farnaz is a PhD student at the Occupational Therapy Department, of the University of Alberta.

David Turner

David has more than 15 years of experience and is the project’s senior software developer, engaged with AVOID since its inception.

Vardan Saini

Vardan is an alumnus of the Computing Science department and is a software developer.

Our Publications

Exergames – Virtual Gym

Cervantes, Victor Fernandez; Stroulia, Eleni; Thawonmas, Ruck; Xiao, You; Abdullah, Febri (2023 Aug).
Virtual Gym with Juicy Effects: A Study in Engaging Serious Silver Games. Replaying Japan, 2023:4.
Workshop Paper 2023-08-19

Baldassarre, Maria Teresa; Calvano, Danilo; Romano, Simone; Cagnetta, Francesco; Cervantes, Victor Fernandez; Stroulia, Eleni (2021 May).
PhyDSLK: a Model-Driven Framework for Generating Exergames. MULTIMEDIA TOOLS AND APPLICATIONS, 80:27947-27971. Springer Link
IF: 2.31300; Ranking: 34/105 = 32.38% (COMPUTER SCIENCE, SOFTWARE ENGINEERING)
Journal Paper 2021-05-27

Cervantes, Victor Fernandez; Stroulia, Eleni (2019 Mar).
Virtual-GymVR: A Virtual Reality Platform for Personalized Exergames. 26th IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces
Poster 2019-03-23

Cervantes, Victor Fernandez; Neubauer, Noelannah; Hunter, Benjamin; Stroulia, Eleni; Liu, Lili (2018 Apr).
VirtualGym : A Kinect-based system for seniors exercising at home. Entertainment Computing, 27(August 2018):60-72. Elsevier BV
Journal Paper 2018-04-01

Neubauer, N.; Cervantes, Victor Fernandez; Liu, Lili; Stroulia, Eleni (2017 Jul).
Effect of Kinect TAI CHI on Overall Health of Dementia Clients: A Feasibility and Usability Study. Innovation in Aging, 1(suppl_1):661-662. Oxford University Press (OUP)
Journal Paper 2017-07-01

Fernandez-Cervantes, Victor; Stroulia, Eleni; Hunter, Benjamin (2016 Jan).
A Grammar-Based Framework for Rehabilitation Exergames. International Conference on Entertainment Computing:38–50.
Proceedings Paper 2016-01-01

Cervantes, Victor Fernandez; Stroulia, Eleni; Oliva, L; Gonzalez, F; Castillo, C (2015 Oct).
Serious games: Rehabilitation fuzzy grammar for exercise and therapy compliance. Games Entertainment Media Conference (GEM), 2015 IEEE:1-8. IEEE Conference Paper 2015-10-14

Serious Games for Cognitive Training – Vibrant Minds

Rincón, Adriana Maria Ríos; Daum, Christine; Cruz, Antonio Miguel; Liu, Lili; Stroulia, Eleni (2022 Jan).
Feasibility and Acceptability of a Serious Mobile-Game Intervention for Older Adults. Physical and Occupational Therapy In Geriatrics, 0(0):1-24. Taylor & Francis
IF: 0.813
Journal Paper 2022-01-27

Miguel Cruz, A.; Rios Rincon, A.; Daum, C.; Quiroga Torres, D.A.; Jesus, Ruby De; Liu, L.; Stroulia, Eleni (2021 Aug).
Predicting engagement in older adults with and without dementia while playing mobile games. The IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Magazine, 24(6):29-39. IEEE
IF: 1.505
Journal Paper 2021-08-13

Diaz Romero, Dillam; Rios Rincon, Adriana; Miguel-Cruz, Antonio; Yee, Nicholas; Stroulia, Eleni (2021 Feb).
Recognizing Emotional States With Wearables While Playing A Serious Game. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INSTRUMENTATION AND MEASUREMENT, 70:12. IEEE
IF: 3.65800; Ranking: 9/64 = 14.06% (INSTRUMENTS & INSTRUMENTATION)
Journal Paper 2021-02-05

Miguel-Cruz, Antonio; Quiroga-Torrez, Daniel Alejandro; Rios-Rincon, Adriana Maria; Daum, Christine; Jesus, Ruby De; Liu, Lili; Stroulia, Eleni (2020 Nov).
Predicting Engagement While Playing Computer Games in Older Adults With and Without Dementia. Innovation in Aging, 4(Supplement_1):862. Oxford University Press (OUP)
Journal Abstract 2020-11-04

Wallace, Bruce; Knoefel, Frank; Goubran, Rafik; Masson, Philippe; Baker, Amanda; Allard, Brianna; Guana Garces, Victor; Stroulia, Eleni (2017 Oct).
Detecting Cognitive Ability Changes in Patients With Moderate Dementia Using a Modified “Whack-a-Mole” Game. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INSTRUMENTATION AND MEASUREMENT, 67(7):1521–1534. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
IF: 2.45600; Ranking: 14/58 = 24.14% (INSTRUMENTS & INSTRUMENTATION)
Journal Paper 2017-10-27

Wallace, Bruce; Knoefel, Frank; Goubran, Rafik; Masson, Philippe; Baker, Amanda; Allard, Brianna; Stroulia, Eleni; Guana Garces, Victor (2017 May).
Monitoring cognitive ability in patients with moderate dementia using a modified “whack-a-mole”. 2017 IEEE International Symposium on Medical Measurements and Applications (MeMeA):292-297. IEEE
Conference Paper 2017-05-01

Tong, T; Guana Garces, Victor; Jovanovic, A; Tran, F; Mozafari, G; Chignell, M; Stroulia, Eleni (2015 Nov).
Rapid Deployment and Evaluation of Mobile Serious Games: A Cognitive Assessment Case Study. 7th International Conference on Advances in Information Technology (IAIT2015):96-103. Elsevier
Conference Paper 2015-11-22

Voice Indicators of Cognitive and Mental Health

Song, Yipeng; Liu, Yang S.; Talarico, Fernanda; Zhang, Yanbo; Hayward, Jake; Wang, Mengzhe; Stroulia, Eleni; Dixon, Roger A.; Greiner, Russell; Li, Xinmin; Greenshaw, Andrew; Jie, Sui; Cao, Bo (2023 Sep).
Associations between differential aging and lifestyle, environment, current, and future health conditions: Findings from Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Gerontology S. Karger AG
IF: 3.50000; Ranking: 30/54 = 55.56% (GERIATRICS & GERONTOLOGY)
Journal Paper 2023-09-01

Shah, Zehra; Qi, Shi-ang; Wang, Fei; Farrokh, Mahtab; Tasnim, Mashrura; Stroulia, Eleni; Greiner, Russell; Plitsis, Manos; Katsamanis, Athanasios (Accepted: 2023 Feb).
Exploring Language-Agnostic Speech Representations using Domain Knowledge for Detecting Alzheimer’s Dementia. 2023 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP 2023)
Conference Paper 2023-05-01

Shah, Zehra; Sawalha, Jeff; Tasnim, Mashrura; Qi, Shi-ang; Stroulia, Eleni; Greiner, Russell (2021 Feb).
Learning Language and Acoustic Models for Identifying Alzheimer’s Dementia From Speech. Frontiers of Computer Science, 3 Frontiers Media SA
IF: 2.06100; Ranking: 108/161 = 67.08% (COMPUTER SCIENCE, INFORMATION SYSTEMS)
Journal Paper 2021-02-01

Shah, Zehra; Sawalha, Jeff; Tasnim, Mashrura; Qi, Shi-ang; Stroulia, Eleni; Greiner, Russell (2021 Jan).
Learning Language and Acoustic Models for Identifying Alzheimer’s Dementia from Speech. Frontiers of Computer Science
IF: 1.27500; Ranking: 124/155 = 80.00% (COMPUTER SCIENCE, INFORMATION SYSTEMS)
Journal Paper 2021-01-08

Tasnim, Mashrura; Stroulia, Eleni (2019 May).
Detecting Depression From Voice. 32nd Canadian Conference on Artificial Intelligence:472-478.
Conference Paper 2019-05-28

More work on technology and Health

Forgie, Ella; Lai, Hollis; Cao, Bo; Stroulia, Eleni; Greenshaw, Andy; Goez, Helly (2021 Oct).
Social Media and the Transformation of the Physician-Patient Relationship: A Viewpoint. JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INTERNET RESEARCH
IF: 5.42800; Ranking: 6/30 = 20.00% (MEDICAL INFORMATICS)
Journal Paper 2021-10-26

Liu, Lili; Stroulia, Eleni; Nikolaidis, Ioanis; Miguel-Cruz, A; Rincon, A Rios (2016 Jul).
Smart homes and home health monitoring technologies for older adults: A systematic review. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INFORMATICS(91):44-59. Elsevier

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