A method is needed by which to identify elderly persons who fall frequently. There are presently no tools to objectively record fall frequency and severity in the home or nursing care environments. A device that could (at a minimum) be used to count fall frequency and record the times of fall events - while still permitting free and unrestricted body movement - would be invaluable in understanding why elderly people fall. Such a device could also serve as a research tool, enabling a better understanding of risk factors associated with falls and near falls. A method for characterizing fall dynamics (e.g., impact velocity and orientation, fall direction, impact energy) would assist in identifying elderly persons at high risk for hip fracture. Hip fractures, for example, have been associated with high impact energy sideways falls in which the subject lands on their hip. Barron Associates, Inc. and its subcontractor, the University of Virginia Motion Analysis and Motor Performance Laboratory, propose to develop and demonstrate a small, lightweight, low-profile, low-power, low-cost, non-tethered, body-worn waistbelt device to collect and store on-line accelerometer fall data measured on geriatric subjects. A PC will be used for off-line data post- processing, analysis, and display. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: The envisioned fall monitor will provide a currently nonexistent capability for use in the field, while offering such capabilities at relatively low cost. A non-tethered system has significant advantages over cable-tether laboratory motion monitoring systems. It will expand and create new markets for mobile monitoring applications in areas such as assessing balance and mobility impairment, gait analysis, sports training, and pediatric monitoring.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:B. E. Parker
BARRON ASSOCIATES, INC.
JORDAN BLDG, STE 300 1160 PEPSI PL CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA 22901
Number of Employees: