Injuries due to falls are among the leading causes of hospitalization in elderly persons, often resulting in a rapid decline in quality of life or death. Rapid response can improve the patients outcome, but this is often lacking when the injured person lives alone and the nature of the injury complicates calling for help. This paper presents an alert system for fall detection using common commercially available electronic devices to both detect the fall and alert authorities. We use an Android-based smart phone with an integrated tri-axial accelerometer. Data from the accelerometer is evaluated with several threshold based algorithms and position data to determine a fall. The threshold is adaptive based on user provided parameters such as: height, weight, and level of activity. The algorithm adapts to unique movements that a phone experiences as opposed to similar systems which require users to mount accelerometers to their chest or trunk. If a fall is suspected a notification is raised requiring the user’s response. If the user does not respond, the system alerts pre-specified social contacts with an informational message via SMS. If a contact responds the system commits an audible notification, automatically connects, and enables the speakerphone. If a social contact confirms a fall, an appropriate emergency service is alerted. Our system provides a realizable, cost effective solution to fall detection using a simple graphical interface while not overwhelming the user with uncomfortable sensors.
Sposaro, Frank, and Gary Tyson. “iFall: an Android application for fall monitoring and response.” Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2009. EMBC 2009. Annual International Conference of the IEEE 2009 (November 13, 2009): 6119-6122.