Pilot evaluation of an unobtrusive system to detect falls at night time

Pilot evaluation of an unobtrusive system to detect falls at night time

Redmond SJ, Zhaonan Zhang, Narayanan MR, Lovell NH.
Conf. Proc. IEEE Eng. Med. Biol. Soc. 2014; 2014: 1756-1759.
(Copyright © 2014, IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers))
DOI 10.1109/EMBC.2014.6943948 PMID 25570316

Abstract
Research shows that older people (aged 65 years and over) suffer many unintentional indoor falls which often lead to severe injuries. As a result of an increasingly aged population in developed countries, a sizable portion of healthcare funding is consumed in the treatment of fall-related injuries and associated long-term care. Detecting falls soon after they occur can be potentially live saving. In addition, early treatment of fall-related injuries can reduce treatment costs by minimizing health deterioration resulting from long periods spent incapacitated on the floor after a fall (a scenario known as a ‘long lie’) and decreasing the number of hospital bed-days required. In this study, a previously proposed unobtrusive nighttime fall detection system based on wireless passive infrared sensors and furniture load sensors is evaluated in a pilot study involving three older subjects, monitored for a combined total of 174 days. No falls occurred during the study. The system reported a false alarm rate of 0.53 falls per day, which is comparable with similar unobtrusive and wearable sensor fall detection solutions.

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