Nobody likes falling down. For the elderly, however, doing so can cause serious injuries from which they never fully recover. What’s preferable is for them to avoid getting hurt in the first place – and that’s why the FallSkip system was created.
Designed by a team at Spain’s Universitat Politècnica de València, FallSkip consists of an Android-based mobile device, a custom app that runs on that device, and a waistband on which the device is mounted.
Doctors start by entering information about the patient on the app, such as their age, gender and medical record. Wearing the waistband/device, the patient then stands on the spot, walks a distance of 3 meters (9.8 ft), and sits down in then gets up from a chair. The whole testing process takes less than two minutes.
Using the device’s accelerometer and gyroscope, the app is reportedly able to measure parameters such as their balance and gait patterns, coordination, reaction time (after hearing an audible cue), and muscle strength. Based on these factors, a fall risk score is immediately assigned to the patient – if that score indicates that a fall is likely to occur in the near future, then preventative measures can be taken.
FallSkip lets seniors know if a fall is in their future [New Atlas]