According to the World Health Organization’s research, falls are ‘the second leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths worldwide’. Each year over half a million people die from falls globally, with adults over 65 years old taking the greatest number of all fatal falls.
In 2020, the pandemic of COVID-19 has unveiled insecurity of global healthcare in the face of an unpredictable situation. While medical institutions worldwide put all effort and resources to find the cure for coronavirus, millions of people have to cope with their ongoing health issues on their own but at a much higher risk of not getting proper treatment in case of emergency.
In the current situation, elderly people are the most unprotected segment. Senior citizens often suffer from chronic diseases requiring continuous medical supervision, however are unable to receive it promptly due to quarantine restrictions, wherever they are. Imagine a situation when your loved ones need special attendance but cannot get it due to shutdown, or an old single person walking down an empty street to a drugstore. In both cases the elderly are at risk of falling unseen while there’s no one around.
To address this problem, there are digital fall detection solutions operating based on video control systems, such as Fall Detection App by Aetsoft, gyro sensors like Apple Watch which inform users about irregular situations, and combined systems like Lifeline by Philips.
Fall Detection App by Aetsoft
Fall Detection App by Aetsoft is a program integrated into a private or public video control system. Its artificial intelligence-powered algorithms receive video footage from owner’s HD cameras, automatically process it on a separate IP channel, and store records in a cloud.
The app streams video to a connected gadget, recognizes abnormal movements in the monitored area, and immediately informs a corresponding app user via an SMS or a system push-notification that their attention is needed. The user should check their Fall Detection mobile application to see what exactly has happened in the captured area in real-time, or replay the video back to the moment of an actual incident. Then the app user may call for a special service depending on the case. Such information is essential when it comes to saving people’s lives if you are not around them.
Apple has recently introduced their fall detection feature added to Apple Watch Series 4. The feature is automatically turned on for users over 65. A gyro sensor installed into the watch’s accelerometer identifies unusual movements and sends a push notification to the watch user. If the user does not dismiss the alarm, the watch automatically dials emergency services reading an audio message with the user’s location.
Though seeming fantastic, the feature may appear less effective in most countries due to the high price of Apple Watch gear and peculiar notification settings for each country’s region.
Philips developed its combined fall detection system Lifeline, which consists of a wearable pendant and a system base unit. The solution is used for homes tracing people’s actions with accelerometers and barometers. In case of an incident, the gear informs its user about an incident for dismissal, or calls emergency services when left unattended.
Just like Apple Watch, Lifeline is a great solution for many people, but is of limited value to most countries due to limitations in use and adjustments required to fit each market and service communications.
Who Needs a Fall Detection System
Any person living alone is at a higher risk of delayed actions when necessary. Special attention should be given to people above 65 years of age.
Fall detection is necessary for control over adults with health and motion issues: shuffling feet, recent heart or brain attacks, any chronic diseases, bad sight, weak hands or feet, recent traumas, stretches and breaks, and etc.
Since old people don’t like to vary their habits, some household units can become a real problem: bathtubs, home rugs, uneven floors, variable floor types like tile, hardwood, vinyl, and especially stairs. If refurbishment is impossible, fall detection is a more affordable option.
How to Choose a Fall Detection System
A fall detection system should automatically process video and gyro data and send alarm notifications to its user or supervising operator, such as another person or emergency services.
The system interface must be easy-to-use and easy-to-understand — a senior citizen would press a button rather than get deep into complex application architecture. Wearable detectors must be waterproof and comfortable to wear to ensure their long-term operation. Any solution must have a false alarm button to dismiss an alarm in case of incorrect interpretation.
Talk to your loved ones, ask for their needs. Check their living environment. Pay special attention to unsafe conditions and choose the most appropriate fall detection system for your family.
Aetsoft, a Belarus-based software development and consulting services company, delivers B2B and B2C solutions for medium and large enterprises in Healthcare, Supply chain and Logistics, Finance, Real estate, Legal, Insurance, Agriculture, Fintech, Cybersecurity, Automotive, and IoT domains.
Aetsoft is expert in Business automation, AI, ML, Data Science, Big Data, Image recognition, blockchain development, and cloud services. Upon request, the company creates custom Offshore Development Centers, providing a customer with a remote fully-fledged dev team serving as an in-house office, on favorable terms.