Dave Fabry Ph. D., Eden Prairie, Minnesota (USA)
Video 20 2018
“Safe and sound: Development and validation of a hearing aid system for fall detection and safety alerting”
An individual’s risk for falls increases with age and in proportion to the risk factors described below:
Internal factors like cognitive impairment, visual or hearing impairment as well as mobility limitations and lifestyle factors, e.g. reduced activity. A number of these factors can be purposefully managed through modification of daily life or maintenance of good health. Technological solutions for falls and safety management are commonly used by older adults. These systems include mechanisms for contacting a call centre or family member during an unsafe situation.
Development of a robust fall detection algorithm required that an inertial measurement unit (IMU) be integrated into the hearing aid for the purpose of identifying characteristics indicative of a fall event. The algorithm continuously monitors a hearing aid wearer’s activity while using a model of fall detection; subsequently, an automated communication is sent from the hearing aids to the connected smartphone, which then sends a message to recipients that may include a family member or caregiver.
This presentation will review the cited risk factors associated with falls; examples of real-world and simulated fall events will be provided and data from those falls will be used to demonstrate algorithm effectiveness.