University of South Carolina

Team tests new use for standard sensors
Researchers' efforts lead to less intrusive, more precise sensor

Fall monitoring device could end standoffs, keep seniors safer

He has created a steel grid, about the size of an extra-long double bed and a foot off the floor to simulate a floor and affixed three sensors. Using hammers, Caicedo and his team hit the steel grid with varying degrees of force, from a light tap to a forceful smack. The algorithm is able to correctly estimate the location and force of the impact based on the acceleration measurements only.

Krotish, also executive director of SeniorSMART®, said Caceido’s research has huge implications for aging adults and their families.

“This is an excellent example of taking an existing technology and using it in an innovative way to help people,” she said. “In this case, this technology will preserve quality of life and save in health care dollars.”

Falls are “gateway incidents” and the leading cause of admission to nursing homes and assisted care living facilities.

“Falls are a major source of morbidity and mortality for older adults,” Krotish said. “More than one-third of adults age 65 and older fall each year, and that rates increases to 40 or 50 percent for adults 80 and older.

Preventing them will preserve quality of life in older adults and save on fall-related health care costs, which are estimated to reach $32.5 billion in 2020 as the number of older adults grows.

The research is funded by the Alzheimer’s Association and an NIH Small Business Innovation (SBIR) Grant to Environment and Health Group Inc.

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Posted: 02/02/12 @ 12:05 PM | Updated: 02/02/12 @ 7:52 PM | Permalink



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