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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(4), 4233-4248; doi:10.3390/ijerph110404233
Article

A ZigBee-Based Location-Aware Fall Detection System for Improving Elderly Telecare

 and *
Received: 19 February 2014; in revised form: 1 April 2014 / Accepted: 3 April 2014 / Published: 16 April 2014
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Abstract: Falls are the primary cause of accidents among the elderly and frequently cause fatal and non-fatal injuries associated with a large amount of medical costs. Fall detection using wearable wireless sensor nodes has the potential of improving elderly telecare. This investigation proposes a ZigBee-based location-aware fall detection system for elderly telecare that provides an unobstructed communication between the elderly and caregivers when falls happen. The system is based on ZigBee-based sensor networks, and the sensor node consists of a motherboard with a tri-axial accelerometer and a ZigBee module. A wireless sensor node worn on the waist continuously detects fall events and starts an indoor positioning engine as soon as a fall happens. In the fall detection scheme, this study proposes a three-phase threshold-based fall detection algorithm to detect critical and normal falls. The fall alarm can be canceled by pressing and holding the emergency fall button only when a normal fall is detected. On the other hand, there are three phases in the indoor positioning engine: path loss survey phase, Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) collection phase and location calculation phase. Finally, the location of the faller will be calculated by a k-nearest neighbor algorithm with weighted RSSI. The experimental results demonstrate that the fall detection algorithm achieves 95.63% sensitivity, 73.5% specificity, 88.62% accuracy and 88.6% precision. Furthermore, the average error distance for indoor positioning is 1.15 ± 0.54 m. The proposed system successfully delivers critical information to remote telecare providers who can then immediately help a fallen person.
Keywords: fall detection; accelerometer; indoor positioning; ZigBee; pervasive healthcare fall detection; accelerometer; indoor positioning; ZigBee; pervasive healthcare
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Huang, C.-N.; Chan, C.-T. A ZigBee-Based Location-Aware Fall Detection System for Improving Elderly Telecare. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 4233-4248.

AMA Style

Huang C-N, Chan C-T. A ZigBee-Based Location-Aware Fall Detection System for Improving Elderly Telecare. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014; 11(4):4233-4248.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Huang, Chih-Ning; Chan, Chia-Tai. 2014. "A ZigBee-Based Location-Aware Fall Detection System for Improving Elderly Telecare." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 11, no. 4: 4233-4248.



Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert