Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


HEBE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 5935
Funded under: FP6-SME
Country: Spain

Fall detection for the elderly

A small high-tech device with advanced wireless communication capabilities is set to help Europe's burgeoning elderly population maintain contact with emergency services and feel safer.
Fall detection for the elderly
Almost half of Europe's citizens will be over 50 years old in a few years, a demographic change that will bring many challenges with it, particularly in the healthcare sector. At the same time, elderly people are increasingly living by themselves as the concept of family takes on a different shape.

In this light, the EU-funded project 'Mobile monitoring and automatic fall detection device for elderly people living alone' (HEBE) sought to boost support for the elderly, especially those living by themselves.

Europe is keen on encouraging ageing citizens to live longer in their own home, but this requires the support of low-cost, high-tech security mechanisms. The project worked on the idea of supporting the elderly in activities of daily living (ADL) through its proposed device which provides more safety and autonomy.

Current ADL systems such as tele-assistance buttons are of limited help if a patient falls or becomes unconscious, as are the few fall detection systems which are only for indoor use. HEBE has proposed complete activity and indoor/outdoor monitoring via GPS, GSM and/or GPRS technologies.

This discrete system has been incorporated into a light and easy-to-use portable device, complete with visual and voice communication with a doctor or call centre to handle emergency situations. It is comprised of a mobile component worn on the patient's belt or waste with a rechargeable battery.

The project has successfully designed and tested the system which is ready for production and marketing. Armed with a myriad of many sophisticated functions to assist the elderly, the system will be crucial to improving well-being, pre-empting fatal accidents and instilling a sense of security.

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