Postural stability characteristics are considered to be important in maintaining functional independence free of falls and
healthy life style especially for the growing elderly population. This study focuses on developing tools of clinical value
in fall prevention: 1) Implementation of sensors that are minimally obtrusive and reliably record movement data. 2)
Unobtrusively gather data from wearable sensors from four community centers 3) developed and implemented linear and
non-linear signal analysis algorithms to extract clinically relevant information using wearable technology. In all a total of
100 community dwelling elderly individuals (66 non-fallers and 34 fallers) participated in the experiment. All
participants were asked to stand-still in eyes open (EO) and eyes closed (EC) condition on forceplate with one wireless
inertial sensor affixed at sternum level. Participants’ history of falls had been recorded for last 2 years, with emphasis on
frequency and characteristics of falls. Any participant with at least one fall in the prior year were classified as faller and
the others as non-faller. The results indicated several key factors/features of postural characteristics relevant to balance
control and stability during quite stance and, showed good predictive capability of fall risks among older adults.
Wearable technology allowed us to gather data where it matters the most to answer fall related questions, i.e. the
community setting environments. This study opens new prospects of clinical testing using postural variables with a
wearable sensor that may be relevant for assessing fall risks at home and patient environment in near future.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Thurmon E. Lockhart ; Rahul Soangra and Chris Frames
Fall risks assessment among community dwelling elderly using wearable wireless sensors
", Proc. SPIE 9091, Signal Processing, Sensor/Information Fusion, and Target Recognition XXIII, 90911J (June 20, 2014); doi:10.1117/12.2050995; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.2050995