Passive fall detection: a critical new option for care providers
Paul Berney, CMO at Anthropos
It is a known fact in the sector that falling is one of the leading causes of injury-related hospital admissions for people over the age of 65. Every year, there are over 22,000 admissions in the UK related to falls alone, according to Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF). Detecting a fall has taken place as quickly as possible is critical in order to avoid the health complications caused by people spending extended time periods on the floor, unable to get themselves back up.
Wearable fall detectors can help, offering older people the chance to notify others that they have had a fall and need support. But there is plenty of evidence pointing to the fact that many people won’t use wearable devices for a number of reasons; they forget to put them on, don’t recharge them or simply don’t want to be seen to be wearing them (advertising their vulnerability to others).
At Anthropos we are constantly looking for new technology that can support older people to stay independent for longer, and we looked for an alternative to wearables; the answer is passive falls sensors.
How passive fall detection works
We’ve recently partnered with Vayyar Care, the global leader in 4D imaging, to strengthen our capabilities in passive fall detection. It’s an important addition to our Connected Care Platform, and one that I’m confident will be key in supporting older people and their families.
Vayyar Care’s passive fall detection technology makes use of the same millimetre wave technology used in those airport security machines that you have to stand up in: it allows for a 4D scan of a room, over a prolonged period of time, to collect data, identify patterns and create actionable intelligence.
What we found impressive about Vayyar’s technology is its capability to provide rapid fall detection with zero involvement from the older person. Vayyar’s scanners use advanced imaging radar to monitor a room at every hour of the day, reducing the need for buttons and intrusive wearable devices – including at night, or with dense smoke filling the room.
The value of passive fall detection for Connected Care
Our use of the Vayyar sensors will move beyond just passive fall detection; soon, by factoring in data such as room presence and occupancy, we will be able to create new intelligence based on a person’s time in bed or in an armchair, and more patterns of behaviour.
As we develop our platform’s capabilities alongside partners like Vayyar, we can create more actionable intelligence to help carers make better informed care decisions for their family members.
With every device and sensor we add, our goal is to help provide families and carers with enough information to identify, understand and action the hidden and unseen needs of their loved ones with smart insights, aided by continuous monitoring. We want to provide as rich a picture of a person’s life as possible.
There is huge value in basing care decisions on continuous monitoring, as opposed to a limited snapshot of someone’s life. There’s a rising collective desire in health and social care organisations to help deliver the right care to the right person at the right time and place.
I’m certain that the development of new and innovative technologies will play a key role in supporting intelligence that is accurate, dependable and actionable, enabling carers to help their loved ones stay safe, well and independent in their homes for longer.