Passive Accurate Detection of Elderly Patient Falling Events

The Invention

A very accurate method utilizing a combination of non-intrusive installed vibration detectors and microphones to detect the fall of humans in the domicile.

Potential Applications

The device is useful for individuals living alone, and for seniors in assisted living communities.  Companies specializing in call-in emergency care can use this device to augment their services.  The device can be used in combination with others such as automatic vital signs detection to send real time data to primary care physicians. 

The Need
The elderly desire to remain independent as much as possible.  This translates to living alone without constant supervision.  However, there are many cases of the elderly falling in the house and being unable to call for help, sometimes for days.  Current best-known solutions incorporate wearable transmitters, so that in case the patient cannot reach a phone, he/she can activate the transmitter which will call for help.  This solution suffers from several drawbacks – first, if the patient is incapacitated, he/she may not be able to push the activation button.  Secondly, a wearable device requires that the patient remember to wear it, and it must be waterproof for the shower, etc.  What is required is a completely passive detector which is both accurate, but is not unduly intrusive on privacy (such as installed video cameras).

Advantages

The TAU group has developed a system utilizing a set of detectors placed around the perimeter of the room(s).  These are a combination of tiny vibration sensors and microphones, each picking up its own type of signal. Using a sophisticated algorithm, a triggering event is analyzed by a control unit in the house which decides if the event is a human fall or not.  In house tests have shown that even in difficult detection circumstances, the level of detection is around 95% and the level of false alarms (detecting another event as a fall) is very low.   

Patent
US patent granted, pending in Europe