NICE has developed a medtech innovation briefing (MIB) on the Quantitative Timed Up and Go (QTUG).

  • The technology described in this briefing is the Quantitative Timed Up and Go (QTUG). It uses body-worn sensors and a mobile software app to assess mobility, falls risk and frailty. It is used during the standard Timed Up and Go (TUG) test.
  • The innovative aspects are that QTUG uses proprietary algorithms to give an objective assessment of falls and frailty risk using average values for age and gender and statistical models. QTUG can be used by non-specialists and is wireless and portable.
  • The intended place in therapy for QTUG would be as an alternative to the standard TUG test. QTUG is intended to be used to assess mobility, falls risk or frailty in people needing a mobility assessment, including older people, those with disabilities affecting gait and mobility, and those with chronic neurological conditions.
  • The key points from the evidence summarised in this briefing are from 2 observational studies on QTUG. These studies involved a total of 841 community-dwelling adults 60 years and over who could walk unaided. The studies both suggest that the accuracy of falls risk assessment is greatest when QTUG is combined with clinical risk factor assessment, when compared to either QTUG alone or clinical risk factor assessment alone. The evidence also suggests that the assessment of frailty is most accurate using a TUG test with inertial sensors, such as QTUG. Both studies had methodological limitations.
  • Key uncertainties exist around the ability of QTUG to assess frailty as there is a lack of evidence to support this function of the device.
  • The indicative costs for the QTUG hardware (including a hand held tablet computer and 2 inertial sensors) is £675 excluding VAT and for the annual software licence fee is £1,500 excluding VAT.

MIBs provide a description of the medical technology, including its likely place in therapy, the costs of using the technology and a critical review of the strengths and weaknesses of the relevant published evidence.

Their purpose is to provide objective information on device and diagnostic technologies to aid local decision-making by clinicians, managers and procurement professionals. By making this information available, NICE helps to avoid the need for NHS organisations to produce similar information for local use.

MIBs are not NICE guidance. They differ in format, contain no judgement on the value of the technology and do not constitute a guidance recommendation.

MIBs are commissioned by NHS England and produced in support of the NHS 5 Year Forward View, specifically as one of a number of steps which will accelerate innovation in new treatments and diagnostics.