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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 771; doi:10.3390/app7080771

A Biomechanical Study for Developing Wearable-Sensor System to Prevent Hip Fractures among Seniors

1
Biomechanics Lab, Faculty of Arts & Science, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB T1K 3M4, Canada
2
Department of Physical Education, Xinzhou Teachers’ University, Xinzhou 034000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 April 2017 / Revised: 20 July 2017 / Accepted: 27 July 2017 / Published: 30 July 2017
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Abstract

As the population ages, falls are becoming a major health problem, not only for those with some degree of balance or mobility impairment, but also among healthy active seniors. Previous studies suggest that the degradation of human sensorimotor function related to age contributes to falls. Hip bones are among the most frequently fractured body parts resulting from falls. Hip fractures are a frequent cause of early death, functional dependence, and high medical care costs. The current prevention method is to use hip protectors. Unfortunately, it often fails to do so because the pocket containing the pad can move away from the area during falls. Additionally, some seniors refuse to use hip protectors because they find them constraining. Hence, a new protector that is only activated during a fall is much desired. The current study explored the possibility via biomechanical analyses for building a wearable sensor system that triggers a mini-airbag system during a fall, i.e., the air-pad is only present for protection when a fall occurs. The results have revealed that two sensors placed on the left and right shoulder would be best for a detection of any-direction fall and could be applied for building a wearable sensor system for prevention of hip fractures resulting from falls. View Full-Text
Keywords: aging; sensorimotor degradation; falls; fall-triggered air-pad; threshold aging; sensorimotor degradation; falls; fall-triggered air-pad; threshold
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Shan, G.; Zhang, X.; Meng, M.; Wilde, B. A Biomechanical Study for Developing Wearable-Sensor System to Prevent Hip Fractures among Seniors. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 771.

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