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Fall-detection devices need improvement

Created date

May 10th, 2018
An arm grips a railing with a walker

Approximately 25% of seniors in the U.S. fall every year, with about 20% of all falls resulting in serious injury such as hip fractures and brain trauma.

You’ve seen the commercials about high-tech devices you can use to call for help in an emergency situation, such as a fall. There are several available, including wristbands, home sensors, and pendants. They seem like a good idea and could be a lifesaver for many seniors.

But now, Canadian researchers have found that this technology may not be as effective as it seems. The researchers conducted a review of 118 peer-reviewed studies that were published worldwide. The studies were focused on development and evaluation of ten types of wearable fall-detection devices (such as wrist bands and pendants) and in-home sensors.

Real concerns

The review raised a number of concerns. Researchers observed there seemed to be insufficient instruction to help people understand how to properly use the technology. In addition, some technologies were only tested in a laboratory before becoming available to the general public.

Approximately 25% of seniors in the U.S. fall every year, with about 20% of all falls resulting in serious injury such as hip fractures and brain trauma.

Experts in the field believe devices should be tested in real living situations by seniors before becoming available and also be offered at affordable prices. Researchers believe more studies are needed about the efficacy of wearable and in-home fall-detection technology.

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