Falls are one of the most common causes of accidental injury: approximately, 37.3 million falls requiring medical intervention occur each year. Fall-related injuries may cause disabilities, and in some extreme cases, premature death among older adults, which has a significant impact on health and social care services. In recent years, information and communication technologies (ICT) have helped enhance the autonomy and quality of life of elderly people, and significantly reduced the costs associated with elderly care. We designed and developed an integrated fall detection and prevention ICT service for elderly people, which was based on two wearable smart sensors, called, respectively, WIMU fall detector and WIMU data-logger (Wearable Inertial Measurement Unit, WIMU); their goal was either to detect falls and promptly react in case of fall events, or to quantify fall risk instrumentally. The WIMU fall detector is intended to be worn at the waist level for use during activities of daily living; the WIMU logger is intended for the quantitative assessment of tested individuals during the execution of clinical tests. Both devices provide their service in conjunction with an Android mobile device. The ICT service was developed and tested within the European project I-DONT-FALL (Integrated prevention and Detection sOlutioNs Tailored to the population and risk factors associated with FALLs, funded by EU, action EU CIP-ICT-PSP-2011-5: GA #CIP-297225). Sensor description and preliminary testing results are provided in this paper.
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