Smartphone-based solutions for fall detection and prevention: the FARSEEING approach

The FARSEEING project starts to publish its work in this article by S. Mellone, C. Tacconi, L. Schwickert, J. Klenk, C. Becker and L. Chiari.


Falls are not an inevitable consequence of aging. The risk and rate of falls can be reduced. Recent improvements in smartphone technology enable implementation of a wide variety of services and applications, thus making the smartphone more of a digital companion than simply a communication tool. This paper presents the results obtained by the FARSEEING project where smartphones are one example of intervention in a population-based scenario. The applications developed take advantage of the smartphone-embedded inertial sensors and require that subjects wear the smartphone by means of a waist belt. The uFall Android application has been developed for monitoring the user’s motor activities at home. The application does not require any direct interaction with the user and it is also capable of running a real-time fall-detection algorithm. uTUG is a stand-alone application for instrumenting the Timed Up and Go test, which is a test often included in fall risk assessment protocols. The application acts like a pocket-sized motion laboratory, since it is capable not only of recording the trial but also of processing the data and immediately displaying the results. uTUG is designed to be self-administrable at home.

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