The leading fall detection technology provider, HomeGuardian.AI, has partnered with one of Australia’s leading aged care providers VMCH and Deakin University’s Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute (A2I2) in a world-first trial of its devices to predict and prevent falls from occurring among the elderly and people with disabilities.
The three-year project will see the installation of thousands of HomeGuardian assistive technology devices across residences operated by VMCH, where they will be used to identify potential warning signs of falls among residents and allow carers to take preventative action.
This trial will be supported with a $2.65 million Australian Government grant provided via Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P).
“Our world-first assistive technology devices already ensure people get immediate help after a fall. We are now on a mission to go one step further and prevent what is the leading cause of injuries resulting in hospitalisation and death,” said Co-CEO Kane Sajdak.
In Australia alone, falls result in more than 240,000 hospitalisations and 5,000 deaths each year. Around 94 percent of these deaths are among the elderly.
“By predicting falls, our technology has the potential to prevent the leading cause of traumatic injuries and death among the elderly and take significant pressure off healthcare and aged care systems around the world,” said Mr. Sajdak.
“Our technology is also designed to free up staff in aged care residences to prioritise care among all residents, rather than respond to falls. This is especially impactful with the current nurse staffing shortage that is only set to get exponentially worse over the coming 20 years.”
“HomeGuardian’s patented fall detection technology, which is designed for care environments and private homes, is able to determine what is and is not normal for human behaviour in an area. When a HomeGuardian device notices something isn’t right, it will alert up to three chosen contacts without the need to press a button, make a phone call or activate an alarm.
“As HomeGuardian.AI continues to disrupt the Geritech sector, the CRC-P grant marks a tremendous leap forward in preventative care for HomeGuardian.AI and an Australian Geritech startup ecosystem,” said Co-CEO David Pearce.
“HomeGuardian.AI thanks the Australian Federal Government for recognising the severity of falls in the community and taking steps to improve the care that vulnerable Australians deserve,” he said. The A2I2 Deakin University research team will look to recruit one thousand participants and collect both technical data from HomeGuardian monitoring systems and observational studies undertaken by nurses at VMCH facilities across Australia.
The Chief Investigator leading the A2I2 Deakin University research team Dr Rena Logothetis said: “We are trying to predict a fall before it happens rather than caregivers or nurses being notified when a fall has happened.”
“At the same time, because we are collecting a range of data both from nursing staff and from the HomeGuardian monitoring systems, we are also looking at what are the causes of a fall as well as what can be put in place to help prevent falls.”
VMCH Chief Information Officer Maria Paz said: “This technology has the potential not only to help reduce hospital admissions and injuries but also save lives. Even when falls don’t cause injury, they can trigger a loss of confidence and an ongoing fear of falling.”