Advanced Fall Detection Improving Quality of Life for Active Seniors

According to the AARP, there will be more people over the age of 65 by 2035 in the U.S. than under 18. Extremely important to the growing population of seniors is “aging in place.” The ability to remain independent while aging greatly increases quality of life, thus allowing people to live longer, happier, and to age with dignity.

Falls are a big deal for seniors as they can cause significant limitations to a person’s self-sufficiency and overall well-being. That’s why falls are the number one reason for loss of independence among seniors. According to the statistics gathered by the National Council on Aging, a senior is treated at an emergency room every 11 seconds for a fall. They also cite that 12 million people (that’s one in three older adults) fall every year in the U.S.

The answer lies in delivering ways to help people live mobile and active lives, while allowing them and their families to feel safe and confident in the event of an emergency. Mobile personal emergency response (MPERS) devices are one

solution that has worked well for seniors. And, there is an increasing trend where healthcare and home care professionals, clinicians and case managers are now recommending the use of these devices for people at a younger age.

MarketsandMarkets predicts that North America will account for the largest medical alert system market share increases from 2020 to 2025. In addition, a 2020 research study by Parks Associates estimates more than 5 million consumers in the U.S. will own a PERS device by 2024. Impacting MPERS market growth is the perception that these devices haven’t kept pace with other personal device advancements. To break this perception, providers must deliver state-of-the-art pendants that integrate the latest technologies and features. Of all the technologies most required, advanced fall detection is the key to expanding this market by giving seniors the confidence to live independently.

Why Devices Fall Short

Unfortunately, the following true story occurs too frequently for once-independent seniors. Helen, an 81-year-old woman falls in the driveway of her home and breaks her hip. She goes through the ordeal of hip replacement surgery. Afterwards, her family thought they were doing the right thing by purchasing a PERS pendant device. This normally active senior is so traumatized from the fall and surgery that she is uncomfortable leaving the house.

The reason? Her PERS unit is based on older and limited 3G technology. It doesn’t allow her to connect to the help she may need if she wants to walk her dog around the block. Sadly, Helen’s care is basically limited to just her own home.

Most existing MPERS devices are based on older accelerometer sensor technology that have limited fall detection capabilities. Users experience a high percentage of falls that are either not detected (false negative) or incorrectly detected (false positive). Pendant connectivity is restricted as well.

Growing Market Potential

Active seniors represent a growing market for MPERS and state-of-the-art fall detection makes these devices that much more useful and attractive. Market analysis shows that MPERS has grown at a CAGR of 43% from 2015-2020. The traditional stationary PERS market is also growing but at slower rate – less than 6% CAGR.
MPERS and state-of-the-art fall detection

Driving MPERS Growth

The latest location and mobile technologies deliver quantum leap improvements to MPERS. Driving this growth is the wireless evolution and expansive adoption of smartphone technology. Leveraging advancements in smartphone technology, companies are able help give seniors new freedoms.

Today, there is more to recommend in an MPERS device. The mobile advantages are obvious. Now wearers get the peace-of-mind benefit of automatic fall detection without the need to press a button. This allows active seniors greater mobility and independence while promoting ambulation that contributes to a healthier lifestyle. The bottom line is that they feel more confident having a device that goes everywhere, knows if they have fallen and provides the ability to call for help.

The Faster the Response, the Better the Outcome

Falls account for 70% of accidental deaths among seniors. Statistics show that 88% of people survive falls if they can get help within 72 hours. An MPERS device that can accurately determine the type of fall provides an enormous advantage. With accurate fall detection, first responders can be dispatched quickly with a better understanding of the person’s condition. This accuracy helps to minimize false reports that annoy the user, service provider as well as first responders.

Engineering accurate fall detection technology is a huge undertaking. Identifying a fall on a continually monitored device requires a tremendous amount of data and analysis. Advancements in various areas such as in computing and sensor technologies have led to more precise fall algorithms. By perfecting the technology, these algorithms can better evaluate trajectory and impact acceleration to determine when a fall occurs

Unique Capabilities for Aging in Place

Companies such as Nortek Security and Control, which sells Numera® mobile personal emergency response devices, are leveraging this advanced technology. For example, the revolutionary design of the Numera Libris 2 recognizes more than 3,000 different fall algorithms that enable the device to more accurately detect the type and severity of a fall. Numera MPERS’ fall detection algorithms are based on models built from 10,000 real human falls, not computer simulations.

In addition, the Libris 2 MPERS provides more accurate readings because it uses multiple sensors and analyzes the data in the cloud. The Libris 2 was the first mobile PERS on the market to integrate three separate sensors: an accelerometer, a magnetometer and a gyroscope. These sensors capture data that yield 190 different parameters, such as orientation change, impact intensity, and impact speed. Together these sensors compile the immense amount of data necessary to provide better fall category accuracy.

Fall detection is further improved using cloud-based analysis facilitated by high-performance computing, which is capable of applying artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to not only provide the most accurate detection today, but the ability to learn and improve in the future. All this adds up to the ability of Libris 2 to better classify falls, and to better differentiate between a real fall and a false fall. Customers can have the confidence and assurance of knowing that they have the best fall detection MPERS capabilities.

Numera® mobile personal emergency response devices

The Libris 2 MPERS also features pinpoint location capabilities. Many municipalities still rely on older 911 systems that do not have the ability to track phone calls to a location or are attached to the internet to look up an address. If someone becomes incapacitated or is away from the MPERS, emergency responders will still be able to locate the wearer.

Numera Libris 2 MPERS Features

  • Utilizes cutting-edge motion detection technology based on artificial intelligence (AI) – 90% accuracy
  • Regularly tested and analyzed on real people
  • Continuous software improvements – easily downloaded to users
  • Accurately classifies types of falls and significantly reduces false positives
  • Dependable 24/7 connectivity via mobile monitoring service
    • Hands-free 2-way call capabilities
    • Strong transmission – works even through thick walls
    • Delivers performance equal to any smartphone or laptop
  • Highly water-resistant; designed to be worn in the shower or bath
    • Submersible up to 1 meter (3.3 feet) for 30 minutes (IP67 rating)
  • Shatter-resistant from 2 meters (6.6 feet) (IK06 rating) • Languages: English, Spanish, French
  • Integrates with existing monitoring systems
  • Longer battery life
  • Able to pinpoint location within 1 meter

MPERS devices as a security system alternative

Care Virtually Anywhere

People are living longer today and are looking for more proactive and preventive solutions that help them remain active. Plus, family members want the peace-of-mind that their loved ones are kept safe with a reliable connected care solution. And, more and more homeowners are realizing that they can also use MPERS devices as a security system alternative.

Therefore, innovation must continue. New feature upgrades coming soon are designed to extend the value of MPERS devices to seniors further supporting their desire for independent living. For example, Numera mobile PERS products will make technology advancements to the Libris 2 MPERS that enable enhanced voice command and locator capabilities along with improved battery charging.

As an established pioneer of personal emergency response devices, Numera MPERS is the leading provider to independent dealers who continue to support its more than 3 million devices in use today.

We can reduce the fear of falling for active seniors, and give their caregivers added peace-of-mind. The continual algorithm improvements Numera MPERS is committed to providing means the Libris 2 MPERS will remain the industry’s most advanced fall detection device. Dealers, service providers along with healthcare and home care professionals, clinicians, retirement living facilities, social services and case managers can trust their recommendation of the Libris 2 MPERS.