In the US and UK more than 20m elderly people have falls every year. Falls can be devastating, causing prolonged pain, depression, anxiety, fear of going outdoors, emergency surgery, relocation to a nursing home and premature death, but what if falls could be prevented?
The WoM phone is worn on the chest because here it can measure movement with minimum interference from "movement artifact". Locating any device on the wrist is not suitable because all the knocks, swaying and lifting associated with the wrist confuses the predictive algorithm - wrist-located phones will not work.
By monitoring the wearer's movement the WoM 's Artificial Intelligence (AI) learning engine constantly identifies movement anomolies that are pre-cursors to the wearers' potential falls. This evidence is displayed graphically in the WatchoverMe "Wellness Portal" and forwarded automatically to those who care, warning them of the degree and severity of a potential fall.
The WoM phone uses three types of prediction; Get-up-and-Go measures the time, sway and instabilty associated with rising from a chair, Teapot theory measures anomolies from upper body movement and Near-Falls identifies whether the wearer has had a trip or stumble that did not register as an actual fall. (Actual falls are identified and transmitted automatically.)
Automatic fall detection has been available for 50 years but in addition to using a change in inertia, orientation, impact G and resting attitude, the WoM phone samples ten times faster than other devices using both an accelerometer and a gyroscope to deliver a better discrimination of falls charateristics. This enables an improved understanding to help us detect obtuse falls such as sliding down a wall, slipping from a seated position or falling face down from a kneeling position - associated with gardening, but, obtuse fall detection is in its infantcy and we cannot guarantee to catch all obtuse falls.
Powerful academic evidence demonstrates that appropriate routines can prevent repeat falls. Falls are not inevitable and balance, stumble recovery, cognitative function, muscle strength, elasticity and a general feeling of wellbeing can all be improved to prevent falls by adopting WatchoverMe's four-part fall prevention strategy where the WoM phone plays an important part in analysis, motivation, encouragement and family collaboration to keep elderly loved-ones on their feet.