Skip to main content

Article Category

News

Article available in the folowing languages:

Novel device for detecting falls amongst elderly persons

INGEMA and FATRONIK, by means of an interdisciplinary project, are developing an innovative system in the detection of falls. INGEMA and the MATIA Foundation Falls Group are currently carrying out tests by provoking falls of elderly persons in controlled conditions, to perfectionate the system.

The population of the aged is growing inexorably on a global level and by 2020, the figure will have risen by 25%. In fact, the number of those in their 80s will have more than doubled. This change affects family structures: there are more and more elderly persons living alone while the number of carers is decreasing. Falls are one of the most common problems amongst the elderly, 30% of them fall at least once a year, representing 75% of the total number of victims of falls. 70% of accidental deaths in persons over 75 are caused by this phenomenon. Moreover, it can provoke fear, anxiety or depression in the person, thus reducing their day-to-day activity and thereby promoting less independence which, in turn increases the difficulty of living alone at home. To this end, INGEMA and FATRONIK, by means of an interdisciplinary project, are developing an innovative system in the detection of falls. Ingema (Instituto Gerontológico Matia) is specialised in the field of neuropsychology, neuroscience, rehabilitation and social healthcare and has the support of the MATIA Foundation. FATRONIK, for its part, are experts in mechatronics and new technologies of information and communication (NTICs) and has at its disposal an ample technological platform. Unlike other devices currently available on the market, the one being developed by INGEMA and FATRONIK will be able to detect falls by the user, both at home and outside. To this end, it has a GPS-based location system incorporated which pinpoints the location of the user when a fall is registered. When a fall occurs, the system automatically generates an alert which triggers a process of assistance. Additionally, it has an alarm button incorporated which enables the user to signal the alarm annually, even if no fall has occurred to signal that, despite a fall, everything is OK and no assistance is needed. Moreover, the apparatus has a very ergonomic design and is user-friendly and easy to carry around. INGEMA and the MATIA Foundation Falls Group are currently carrying out tests, involving provoking movements and falls of elderly persons under controlled conditions. The task is to perfect a highly reliable, flexible and innovative system, together with knowledge of the needs and requirements of users. It is expected that with the results of these trials a prototype which will enable users to have a low-cost device shortly will be produced in the coming months. This innovative system aims to increase the independence and quality of life of the elderly, increase their safety and facilitating the work of the members of their families.

Countries

Spain