Open source fall risk assessment platforms now a reality!

Our IT2901 Group 8 students have developed a platform for measuring the risk of falls among elderly based on level and quality of physical activity. The developed platform is intended to be further developed into a standard fall risk management platform.
As we age there probability of falling and injuring ourselves becomes higher due to physical decline and sometimes also mental ailments. A branch of ambient assisted living research has focused on detecting falls at home. A small group of researchers also looks at the more challenging problem of detecting risks for falling before falls happen.

This is also what Group 8 of the course IT2901 at NTNU did. The group approached the problem of fall prevention by addressing elderly people’s physical activities. There are a number of factors that seem to increase the risk of falling among elderly. One dominant factor is the lack of physical activity.

Many existing fall management solutions are integrated in the homes of the people at risk. This is not a good approach for a solution intended to increase physical activity. Therefore Group 8 decided to create their solution based on smart phones. Smart phones today are powerful enough for such purposes, and have a number of sensors integrated into them. In addition, smart phones can be easily carried in your pocket. So no excuse for not leaving home!

The students have developed an application, Valens, that resides on an Android smart phone and that measures a number of parameters related to physical activity. The application consists of a generic platform part that collects the data, and a user interaction part that displays the data to the user. The generic part is intended to become a platform for physical activity monitoring on Android phones.

Group 8 has done a tremendous job starting an open source activity related to standardization of platforms for fall risk assessment. Thank you!

The final report from the project will be available soon. The source code can already now be accessed from github.

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