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

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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