It is estimated that by 2050 more than one in five people will be aged 65 or over. In this age group, falls are one of the most serious life-threatening events that can occur. Their automatic detection would help reduce the time of arrival of medical attention, thus reducing the mortality rate and in turn promoting independent living. This study evaluated a variety of existing and novel fall-detection algorithms for a waist-mounted accelerometer based system. In total, 21 algorithms of varying degrees of complexity were tested against a comprehensive data-set recorded from 10 young healthy volunteers performing 240 falls and 120 activities of daily living (ADL) and 10 elderly healthy volunteers performing 240 scripted ADL and 52.4 waking hours of continuous unscripted normal ADL. Results show that using an algorithm that employs thresholds in velocity, impact and posture (velocity+impact+posture) achieves 100% specificity and sensitivity with a false-positive rate of less than 1 false-positive (0.6 false-positives) per day of waking hours. This algorithm is the most suitable method of fall-detection, when tested using continuous unscripted activities performed by elderly healthy volunteers, which is the target environment for a fall-detection device.
University of Limerick ->