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Fall Detection Solution: Elderly Health Assistance Using IoT

IoT can indeed address the most critical challenges that people are facing each passing day. Therefore, it is becoming a primary tool to improve the living quality by resolving pressing common problems. Few such critical issues at hand include life expectancy, effects of aging, and fatal accidents. For instance, one out of every three elders aging over 65 years fall at least one time a year. Moreover, falls are one of the common reasons for injuries, death, or even brain trauma. However, now technology is mature enough to address this challenge efficiently. Therefore, a fall detection solution is a perfect way to minimize the harm a fall can cause. Detecting & alerting a fall on time could save many lives and cure many injuries in time. Especially, IoT can allow this detection & monitoring through anywhere in the world. 

Top-level System Architecture Of An IoT-based Fall Detection Solution

Fall detection solutions operate quite similarly to other IoT applications. These solutions include three major components in the system to detect, record, and alert for falls efficiently. Three core components of IoT-based fall detection systems are:

  1. Hardware component:

Hardware for fall detection solution is ideally a wearable device. This device can track if there are any sudden disrupting movements. Upon detecting any such detection of sudden movements, the device can send the event wirelessly through the Internet Connectivity.

  1. Internet Connectivity

Being an IoT system dedicated to monitoring and alert, connectivity & data transfer plays a significant role. Thus, wireless fall detection devices leverage cellular, Wi-Fi, Zigbee, or even Bluetooth to send data to the cloud through a gateway.

  1. Software component

Gathering the event data and raising the alarm is the job of the software component. This software can be a desktop application, web application, or most preferably, it can be an Android or iOS mobile phone app.

Technicality Of Fall Detection Sensing

Numerous fall detection devices are already available in the market. As such, there are a few valuable sensors that can provide accurate fall detection sensing to the users. Here is a group of three sensors that fit fall detection needs perfectly:

  • Accelerometers:

Accelerometers detect acceleration, as the name suggests. It can provide the idea of any abrupt body movements such as a push or a fall.

  • Gyroscopes:

Gyroscopes are the key to detect and measure the angular velocity to identify the speed of movement on an angle.

  • Magnetometers:

Magnetometers are useful to identify the orientation of the object. Magnetometer provides an idea if any person has alteration of orientation.

As one can predict, these sensors are not solely enough to accurately verify the event detected is a fall. Therefore, mostly all three sensors are implemented altogether in a fall detection device. There are inertial sensors that comprise multiple sensing abilities. For example,

  • 3-axis sensors can detect acceleration
  • 6-axis sensors comprise of accelerometer & gyroscope
  • 9-axis sensors comprise of accelerometer, Gyroscope, and Magnetometer

Furthermore, edge processing can create additional value here by leveraging cameras. Cameras can detect human postures, and any sudden falls with image processing models. Therefore, it is safe to say that technology is competent to detect falls and similar accidents.

Emergency Alerts To Minimize The Effect Of Fall

Detecting the falls can allow sending timely emergency alerts. Quick alerts can facilitate immediate support for patients. After falling, the unavailability of support leads patients to get up by themselves, which could further lead to severe injury. Setting up an SOS emergency alert with a fall detection solution can automate the call for help. Such an application would save a lot of lives with the help of timely medical assistance. Loved ones can provide the elders with such a fall detection device to ensure that elders are safe and healthy. Similarly, hospitals can keep track of patients to avoid any accidents under their watch.

Overview

The best part about the fall detection solution is that it is affordable and comfortable. Fall detection devices are not as costly, and therefore investing in them is an easy choice. Moreover, the battery life and size of the device are also pretty convenient. Therefore, fall detection devices will definitely be really popular with passing the time. Detecting any body movement for a particular application is the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of significant applications where leveraging IoT sensors can create a lot of value. Such technologies will emerge in the near future to better support the smart cities’ health & wellness needs.

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