Blog

19 May 24

Falls Detection in personal alarms: How does it work?

MePACS Team | MePACS Products & Services

Falls are a leading cause of injury, hospitalisation and death in Australia, with 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 experiencing a fall each year. 

Driven by a growing need to enhance safety for vulnerable populations, innovative technology was developed to help identify when a person has fallen. Falls Detection involves the use of advanced sensors to detect when a fall has occurred and to automatically send an alert for help.

Continue reading to learn more about how Falls Detection in MePACS personal alarms works, and what are the benefits to having a personal alarm with Falls Detection.

 

How Falls Detection works

Sensors and technology

Falls detection systems rely on a combination of sensors, including accelerometers and gyroscopes, to monitor the user’s movements and detect abnormalities. These sensors measure the acceleration and angular velocity of the user’s body, which helps determine whether a fall has occurred.

Accelerometer: Measures the rate of change in velocity. In falls detection, they help identify sudden movements that are characteristic of a fall.
Gyroscope: Measures the orientation and rotation of the device. They provide additional data to confirm a fall event, reducing false positives.

Depending on the type of personal alarm, other sensors can also be used to determine if a fall has occured.

Triggering the Alarm

If the sensors detect a fall, the alarm automatically sends an alert to the MePACS emergency response team. We promptly respond to the alert and talk to the user through the alarm. We assess the situation and get the right help quickly, which can be critical in preventing further injuries or complications.

 

Types of Falls Detection alarms

Solo Connect Watch Alarm

Falls Detection is integrated into the Solo Connect smartwatch alarm with advanced sensors including gyrometer, altimeter, shock detector and barometer. When the watch detects a fall it produces an alarm sound and send an automatic alert to MePACS. If it’s a false alert the user can cancel the alert within 30 seconds.

Mobile Alarm

The Mobile Alarm also comes with several built in sensors for Falls Detection. If the alarm detects a fall it quickly send an automatic alert to MePACS.

Falls Pendant

The Falls Pendant works with the MePACS home alarm system to detect falls that occur inside the home. It’s a cost-effective alarm for those who are at risk of falls. The Falls Pendant can be purchased separately, or can be fully funded for clients who are eligible for Personal Alert SA (PASA).

 

Benefits of Falls Detection in personal alarms

Falls Detection offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Enhanced Safety for Users, especially for people living alone. By automatically detecting falls, the alarm ensure that help is on the way even if the user is unable to call for assistance.
  • Peace of mind for caregivers and family members, who can rest assured knowing that their loved ones are always looked after with professional assistance in case of a fall.
  • Quick Emergency Response is crucial in preventing serious injuries. Falls detection systems help reduce the time it takes for emergency services to be notified and arrive on the scene.

 

Falls Detection limitations

Despite their many benefits, Falls Detection systems can have some limitations. It’s important that users are aware that Falls Detection systems are not completely foolproof, so if a fall occurs it’s always a good idea to still press the button on the alarm.

False positives

A false positives occurs when the alarm incorrectly detects a fall, which may lead to an unnecessary alert to the emergency response centre. If that happens, simply say it was a mistake. At MePACS we don’t mind accidental alerts. We’d much rather know that you’re okay.

False negatives

A false negative occurs when the alarm fails to detect a fall. This can happen in some scenarios such as a slow roll or slump to the ground, if the person braces themselves, or if the fall is broken by an object, such as a chair. If the alarm has failed to detect a fall you must activate the alarm by pressing the help button. It’s always better to be safe and not wait for the falls detection to activate the alarm

 

Conclusion

Falls detection technology plays an imporatant role in enhancing the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable individuals. As the technology continues to advance, it offers even greater potential to save lives and provide peace of mind for users and their caregivers. For those interested in further exploring Falls Detection technology for personal safety, contact us on 1800 685 329.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How accurate are Falls Detection alarms?

Accuracy varies due to factors such as device type and sensor technology, but sensor innovation and performance means detection rates are improving.

Can Falls Detection alarm prevent falls?

Falls Detection alarms cannot prevent falls, only detect them and send a prompt alert for help. This is why falls alarms are often recommended as part of falls prevention strategies.

Is automatic Fall Detection essential?

For those at risk of falls, automatic fall detection is highly recommended as it can make a real difference to their safety and independence. It also helps to ease worries for family and caregivers by knowing that help is available around-the-clock.