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Mitigating Injurious Falls in Older Adults Through Non-Injurious Fall and Gait Analysis From Floor Vibrations

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41AG059475-01A1
Agency Tracking Number: R41AG059475
Amount: $224,706.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIA
Solicitation Number: PA18-575
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-09-30
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-08-31
Small Business Information
Columbia, SC 29209-1240
United States
DUNS: 080068374
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (803) 777-7093
Business Contact
Phone: (803) 528-5807
Research Institution
COLUMBIA, SC 29208-0001
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

Project Summary and Abstract
Falls are the leading cause of death due to injuryThis simple motion is so common thatof community
dwelling older adultsandof long term care facilities will experience a fall in the coming yearThe risk of
falling substantially increases for those having Alzheimer s disease and related dementiasand those with
Parkinson s diseaseThe financial burden is significant with fall related costs being $billion inwith
costs expected to rise to $billion byCare giving institutionswho are often liable for the well being of
their patientsbear a substantial portion of the costA fall can cost $per case for long term care
facilities and can cost $per case for hospitalsCommercially available fall detection systems operate
wearable pendant based devices that a patient presses after experiencing a fallNewer generations of these
systems also incorporate accelerometers that are reportedly able to detect fallsThese systems are userdependentmeaning that a patient must be wearing the pendant for it to work which older adultsparticularly
those with cognitive impairmentsoften do notFurthermorethe patient has to be cognizant to press the button
to call for aid if the pendant does not activate during a fallThis is unlikely to occur as even when people are
not cognitively impaired they will only activate the systemof the timeThere is a clear need for an automateduser independent fall detection systemBetter yet would be a system
that can detect non injurious falls or changes in gaitboth of which are predictors of oncoming injurious fallsASSETin partnership with the University of South Carolinahave developed a patent pendingfloor vibration
fall detection and gait analysis prototype system that can detect non injurious falls and collect gait information
whilst being user independentThe innovation has the ability to firmly place control of liability back into the
hands of care giving institutions much like what a fire alarm does for property damage from firesand
potentially saving$billion in fall related costs with justmarket adoptionDuring Phase Ithe system will be tested and algorithms refined in a deployment of eight systems to dwellings
whose residents are at high risk of fallingand compare the gait analysis capabilities to that of the GAITRite
Mat and ADPM system with an expected n ofFocus groups of stakeholders in the use of the innovation will
also be conductedThe work in Phase I are expected to result in a refined alpha version of the fall detection
and gait analysis technologywith goals of andgtaccuracy in fall detection and comparable gait information
results to that of existing standardsStrong results in Phase I will warrant further development in a larger
deployment of the technology in Phase II to validate and finalize the technology in preparation for
commercialization Project Narrative
Falls are the leading cause of injury related death in adults above the age ofand care giving institutionse ghospitalsnursing homesbear a substantial portion of the cost due to liabilityYetthis simple motion can
be avoided if minornon injurious falls and changes in gaitboth of which are predictors of future injurious fallsare recognized in time for preventative healthcare measures to be enactedASSETin partnership with the
University of South Carolinais leveraging floor vibrations to detect non injurious falls and changes in gait as
an affordable solution that alerts care giving institutions before an injurious fall occurs

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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