Fraunhofer AICOS has officially started a new internal project, the ‘Fall Prevention’.
Falling is a major cause of personal injury, especially among the elderly. Since falls represent a serious and common risk for this segment of the population – many times resulting in injuries that can lead to the loss of independence and reduced quality of life - this problem becomes increasingly important to address given the increasing proportion of older persons in society.
The Fall Prevention project consists in a phone-based fall risk predictor that has the advantage of being portable, low-cost and self-administrable, allowing it to be used outside clinical environments on a day-to-day basis and thus being able to anticipate the detection of functional disability and mobility problems.
The growing popularity of smartphones makes them an ideal platform for a fall prediction system, given their built-in hardware capabilities. A smartphone can be adapted to these specific functions by taking advantage of its inertial sensors and running a fall prediction algorithm, where several risk factors and their patterns can be analysed in real-time.
By identifying risk patterns, the probability of falling and its subsequent harmful consequences can be drastically reduced by the use of effective fall prevention strategies, offering the opportunity to increase the safety and quality of life of older persons, as well as reducing fall-associated post-injury healthcare costs.
Source: 11.11.2011, Fraunhofer Portugal