This paper makes four scientific contributions to the field of fall detection in the elderly to contribute to their assisted living in the future of Internet of Things (IoT)-based pervasive living environments, such as smart homes. First, it presents and discusses a comprehensive comparative study, where 19 different machine learning methods were used to develop fall detection systems, to deduce the optimal machine learning method for the development of such systems. This study was conducted on two different datasets, and the results show that out of all the machine learning methods, the k-NN classifier is best suited for the development of fall detection systems in terms of performance accuracy. Second, it presents a framework that overcomes the limitations of binary classifier-based fall detection systems by being able to detect falls and fall-like motions. Third, to increase the trust and reliance on fall detection systems, it introduces a novel methodology based on the usage of k-folds cross-validation and the AdaBoost algorithm that improves the performance accuracy of the k-NN classifier-based fall detection system to the extent that it outperforms all similar works in this field. This approach achieved performance accuracies of 99.87% and 99.66%, respectively, when evaluated on the two datasets. Finally, the proposed approach is also highly accurate in detecting the activity of standing up from a lying position to infer whether a fall was followed by a long lie, which can cause minor to major health-related concerns. The above contributions address multiple research challenges in the field of fall detection, that we identified after conducting a comprehensive review of related works, which is also presented in this paper.
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