Fall risk assessment is used to identify the risk level and risk factors, so as to prevent falls and reduce the chance of injury. Conventional assessments often involve questionnaires or functional assessment (e.g. Timed Up and Go, 4 Stage Balance) of posture, gait, cognition, and other fall risk factors. However, these clinical assessments are usually subjective and qualitative.
Quantitative measurements of balance and those gait parameters could provide a more accurate and actionable insight for the elderly. However, a comprehensive analysis is usually conducted in a lab with lots of equipment such as high-speed cameras and force platforms. Also, the data collected has to be analysed by professionals. These time-consuming processes are difficult to practically integrate into typical clinic practice.
A wearable, compact device was invented in order to simplify the gait analysis processes with easy access to those gait parameters. Its assessment test only takes 5 mins and can be conducted anywhere. The data collected will be associated to fall vulnerability with the help of cloud and artificial intelligence (AI).
This technology enables a simple, efficient and affordable approach for elderly everywhere to benefit from early awareness and prevention of serious health risks.
The device with patented algorithms extracts and quantifies irregularities measured in walking, postural stability/balance, and limb strengths using sensors and a mobile app. These factors are strongly associated to fall vulnerability based on well-established research worldwide. The cloud AI analytics further process the results using reference database of regional specific elders to determine credible risk levels and recommend specific interventions. Therefore, the device can provide comprehensive assessments and recommendations to help prevent elderly fall.
The assessment test is simple and fast. Only minimal training is needed and it measures normal walking, standing and sitting. After this 5-minute process, customized reports can be automatically generated. The test can be conducted everywhere as there is no special requirement for test site and no extra equipment is needed. The invention provides reliable results as it is validated with the “golden standard” research equipment from GAITRite®, Bertec®, and Noraxon®.
It can be further developed to measure more data and into a compact device that is embedded into clothing. The analytic algorithms can also be further modified to suit more applications.
The aim of this technology/device is to use cloud and AI to unlock the benefit of body motion analytics for the masses. For example, it can enhance the services including preventive treatment and exercises, supportive insoles, safer shoes, home environment safety check, etc. provided by a physiotherapist or occupational therapist. Besides, it may allow non-governmental organizations (NGOs) easily assess the elderly population and promote awareness of fall risk and fall prevention.
This device and its test can be incorporated into fall risk assessment protocols when the elderly were admitted to a hospital or care center.
This device with patented technology is simple, fast, and effective. Elderly everywhere can benefit from early awareness and prevention of a serious health risk.