Pacheco, CA (PRWEB) June 14, 2013
The risk of accidental falls has long been a health concern for senior citizens. Now new technology promises to automatically detect senior falls and send an emergency medical alarm when they occur. While the technology is exciting, it is not yet reliable, warns leading medical alert system provider Bay Alarm Medical in a recent blog post.
"As a company, we have tested a great deal of auto fall detection devices and not one of them has lived up to our standards," says Carli DeLaCruz of Bay Alarm Medical. According to the company, fall detectors often fail to recognize ordinary activities such as sitting on a chair, lying down on a bed, or any kind of sudden movements.
“That can cause confusion and embarrassment to the wearer when paramedics unexpectedly appear, not to mention the waste of the paramedics’ time,” says Carli DeLaCruz.
Fall detection devices use accelerometers and gyroscopes to sense sudden changes in movements. In theory, this can be used to detect a trip or fall. The technology has been used in electronic equipment for years.
“But monitoring human movement is far more complex than recognizing that a cell phone has fallen off a table,” says DeLaCruz, “So the risk of false alarms is quite real.”
DeLaCruz points out that many communities impose fines on homeowners and alarm companies issue false burglar and fire alarm calls. An increase in false medical alarms could tempt cash and resource-strapped communities to expand that policy to medical alarms.
DeLaCruz also says that fall detection technology may not register “sliding” falls, such when a senior slides down from their wheelchair to the floor.
Bay Alarm Medical’s warning echoes concerns voiced by some kinesiologists and geriatrics experts.
Fall detection systems may so
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