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Leading Edge Research Underway in Fall Prevention for Seniors
Date:10/25/2007

AFrame Digital, Inc. Awarded Grant to Develop an Innovative Fall Detection

and Prevention System

FALLS CHURCH, Va., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ --- Falls are the leading cause of accidental death in the elderly. The National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has awarded AFrame Digital, Inc. a Small Business Innovation Research grant entitled "Non-Intrusive Locomotion and Gait Stability Analysis Monitoring System for the Elderly". The research aims to establish the feasibility of a non-intrusive wearable monitor worn on the wrist that can detect falls and continuously monitor an individual for instability during regular activities of daily living.

Falls are the leading cause of injury-related visits to emergency departments in the United States and the primary etiology of accidental deaths in persons over the age of 65 years. "A fall is often a precursor to an end-of-life event," according to Sunil Saxena, MD, FACEP, AFrame's Chairman and Chief Medical Officer. "I regularly see the devastating effects a fall can have on an individual in my medical practice."

AFrame Digital is working with a team of researchers led by Dr. Thurmon Lockhart of Virginia Tech's Locomotion Research Laboratory. Previous research has relied on the use of sensors located at the trunk and lower extremities with good results. This current research will focus on the feasibility of new sensors at the wrist since this location is more acceptable to most individuals. AFrame Digital's current wrist-based wireless monitor, the MyPHD, includes an impact sensor that is an indicator of some types of falls. As part of this new NIA/NIH research program, the wearable monitor will be enhanced with additional sensors and monitoring algorithms. The ultimate goal is to be able to continuously and non-intrusively monitor individuals to prevent falls and the medical complications that follow.

"This system will give health care providers early detection of the gait instabilities that precede falls, in order to enable intervention before serious injuries occur. The proposed research plan includes delivery of a working prototype incorporating the research findings and laboratory validation of the ambulatory gait and posture monitoring system," says Dr. Lockhart.

"Adding a fall detection and prevention system to our present platform supports AFrame's vision to be the foremost provider of affordable and portable personalized monitoring and alerting solutions supporting multi-resident long term care and outpatient care settings," states Cindy Crump, President and CEO. "I am excited to see the support provided to us by the NIH National Institute on Aging for this important project."

AFrame Digital has also been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for a program entitled "Non-Intrusive Health Monitoring for Post-Combat Wellness Management." The research under the NIA/NIH grant will also be useful to help service personnel that are recovering from combat injuries.

AFrame Digital, Inc. was founded in January 2005 to develop comprehensive, nonintrusive and intelligent medical health and wellness monitoring for individuals in rehabilitation and long term care. The company provides an innovative wireless wearable "Personal Help Device" called myPHD (TM) that works effectively in an institutional setting or at home. A system provides caregivers and health care personnel with physiological vital signs and personalized baselines and alerts. The company is working with healthcare personnel on monitoring strategies and treatment regimens. AFrame Digital Inc. may be contacted at (703) 560-0512 or info@aframedigital.com.

The project described is supported by grant number R43AG029721 from the National Institute on Aging. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the views of the National Institute on Aging or the National Institutes of Health.


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SOURCE AFrame Digital, Inc.
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