It is of little surprise that falling is often accepted as a natural part of the aging process. Falls have turned out to be one of the biggest risks among the elderly population leading to serious injuries & ranking as the second incident that leads to deaths over the world. Aging people are typically frailer, more unsteady and have slower reactions, thus making them prone to fall and get injured as compared to younger individuals. The risk of falls in older adults also restrict their social life and curb their independence. The effect of these falls also increases exponentially with age due to weak leg strength, side effects of prolonged medication, vision problems and strength reduction in other tissues.
- The World Health Organisation reported that approximately 28–35% of the people of age over 65 years suffered a fall every year, and it increases to 32–42% for older adults over 70 years of age.
- It is also projected that the worldwide population of old aged people over 65 would increase by 21.64% by 2050.
The ever-growing aging population in this fast-paced world gives rise to the need for the development of fall detection systems. A robust and accurate fall detection system is essential to provide immediate help and to reduce the severe post-fall consequences, thereby decreasing the associated medical care cost significantly. Most of the time, it’s the impact rather than the occurrence of falls in the elderly, which is of most concern, as fall-related injuries can result in pain, disability & sometimes premature death.
Accidents on the road due to two-wheeler crashes can turn out to be as fatal as a fall in the room. About 1.25 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes out of which most of the people are aged between 15–29. When it comes to the safety of two wheeler riders the most important thing which can help them to prevent accidents is a helmet. Wearing a helmet was kept as an option for the two wheeler riders which also resulted in an increase in the accident rate.
- Road accidents which involve two wheelers have the highest share of 33.9% in total accidents and of 29.8% in total fatalities.
- Nearly half of the injured people succumb to injuries due to lack of treatment on proper time.
Today technology plays a huge role in ensuring the safety of an individual — whether it’s safeguarding him on the road during his young age, or providing him timely help in his room amid his old age. The advancements in technology, over the years, have resulted in a demand for different fall detection & crash sensing systems. Demand for these wearable systems has primarily been driven by their ease-of-use nature and mobility, as they come in different shapes and sizes — watches, necklaces, clip-to-garments (enabling ease of mobility) in case of a fall or in the form of smart helmets on the road.
Although there are various existing devices which focus on fall and crash detection with individual sensors, such as wearable ones and depth cameras, the performance of these systems are still not satisfying as they suffer mostly from high false alarms. During the past decades, much effort has been put into these fields to improve the accuracy of fall detection as well as prediction systems to decrease the false alarms, yet it’s difficult to get our hands on a device that checks all the boxes.
We at Vicara, have devised a simple, smart and sustainable solution for these persistent problems that we face due to the lack of timely help — be it for a fall or a crash. Our VME backed solution truly transforms into a convenient & customisable fit across a multitude of devices, for a variety of needs & purposes.
What is the VME?
The Vicara Motion Engine (VME) is a platform independent firmware stack, that leverages data from motion engines to accurately identify motion & gestures with minimal processor & memory requirements.
The VME is capable of detecting falls when integrated into arm bands, pendants or any other form of wearable for the elderly. It can also be introduced into rider helmets or bikes for crash sensing purposes in case of a calamity. It’s a removable module built on Bluetooth Low Energy that can detect crashes or high-impact events. The module works in conjunction with a Mobile Application that sets off alerts to emergency contacts.
You can also check out various other applications of the VME out here.
What are the key advantages of using VME based Fall detection systems?
- It provides an added level of safety
- Can ensure timely help is facilitated if unconscious
- Can be used for monitoring the elderly & ensure their safety
- Gives an option to turn off the alert incase of incorrect trigger
- VME is 108x more memory efficient without extensive memory requirements
- It also offers 83x more processor efficiency
Where & how has VME been used?
A fall detection solution utilising the Vicara Motion Engine was delivered to one of India’s leading Helmet manufacturers. The module was capable of detecting high impact events, as well as falls. This compact & removable module could be easily placed within helmets both at the time of manufacture & after.
Once a crash is detected, the module sends an alert to the mobile application accompanying it. The application subsequently sends our emergency messages to pre-specified emergency contacts, alerting both emergency services and the friends or family. The alerts are sent out after a 30 second window within which a user may cancel the alert.
This integration has allowed for added safety features to the helmets, ensuring the safety of riders & promoting safe driving habits.
The addition of the VME reduced the time-to-market to less than 2 months. It also delivered great performance at extremely competitive prices.
Over the past few years, studies have shown that older adults want to be able to live at home and are willing to accept new technologies that support their independence. When dealing with fall detection technologies, many studies have also shown that older adults are favourable to such systems and find that the use of these devices can give them a greater sense of security.
Multiple commercial fall detection devices are publicly available, but their accuracy is hard to identify. Over the years, smart helmets have become predominant amongst motorcyclists, but most of them fail to meet the processing efficiency that’s expected.
At Vicara, we curate a customisable solution for both — fall detection & crash sensing, backed by our highly efficient & versatile technology. While one cannot prevent an accident at home or on the road, the ability to seek help without explicitly requesting it, can ensure that help arrives no matter what the situation is.