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Smartphone based fall prevention diagnosis

Smartphone-based diagnosis for detecting and alerting the user to any signs or possibility of falling.

Photo of Adhish Patel
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Who is your idea designed for and how does it enable older adults to live their best possible life by preventing falls?

This idea is designed for an older adult or their caregiver. The goal is to detect any problems with walking leveraging the sensors and camera of a smartphone. The user has to walk in a straight line for about 15-30 seconds. While walking, the user has to hold the phone straight such that the back camera faces the direction in which they are walking. The software will record all the sensor and camera data and based on an algorithm it will detect whether you are at risk for falling.

Today's smartphone are a lot powerful and many medical practitioners have started using it as a diagnosis tool. My idea is to do the same but to detect the early signs of Fall.

As mentioned before, the smartphone will record the sensors and camera data while the user walks in a straight line and based on an algorithm it will detect whether the user is at a risk of falling or not.

A caregiver can also use the phone to record a person's walk, similar to the research mentioned in the inspiration article. This will give caregiver on the spot diagnosis equipment to warn the elderly of possible falls. 

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

To have a word with the users that if such kind of self-diagnosis tool is available, how often they will use it?

What skills, input, or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

I would love to collaborate with any medical practitioner to explore the idea further. I want to discuss the feasibility of the idea. Based on the research it is possible, but implementing into a smartphone can be little tricky but not impossible.

How long has your idea existed?

  • 0-3 months

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm
  • An Individual

Tell us about your work experience:

I have worked in the Innovation & Entrepreneurship sector. I also have experience in Design Thinking and worked in the areas of sustainable technologies and innovation. Currently, I am a student at New York University and a member of the Design for America NYU Studio.

6 comments

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Hi Adhish Patel nice to see this idea posted. Have a look Philip Goebel idea https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/fall-prevention/ideas/sensor-enabled-walking-frame It's very different but I'm wondering if the technology used could not be an inspiration.
I'm also wondering what you could learn from Joao's idea https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/fall-prevention/ideas/paadje-wearable-gait-assitant-for-elderly-people

In terms of the technology, I am not sure but I wondered if some AI could help like this version for visually impaired persons http://mashable.com/2017/02/21/app-help-blind-see/#b0Bh.v0cQ8qs

I remember you explaining me the idea and I'm wondering if you could add a small scenario that will provide context regarding what this app will provide to the user. From what I remember data for older adults, but anyone actually, on their balance while walking aka a self assessment.

Photo of Adhish Patel
Team

Paadje - Wearable Gait Assistant is an interesting concept. I really like the idea. I am visualizing how it can be used as a post diagnosis tool to give actionable and proper insights to the user. A combination of these technologies can be used as a diagnosis and prevention system to prevent fall. Also, yes, some sort of data analysis would be required as it will help in analyzing user data and help predict fall for others as well. It's like a cloud learning system. When one user goes through a fall, the precursors to that is learned by the system and helps better the software which will in turn help, other users. The best analogy could be Tesla's self-driving system as a whole.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Adhish!

There is some great feedback from Anne-Laure below!

I am wondering if inspiration could be drawn from these apps:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hyunc.rehatrain.balancecheck&hl=en
https://swaymedical.com/system/balance

Photo of Adhish Patel
Team

Yes Kate Rushton , definitely. That would be an objective. But as sway is limited to balancing, I wanted to go step further and see if actual prediction could be made. Which will then lead to proper care given before the fall.

Photo of Manjunath
Team

Hi Adhish,
What is the reason for the adults to start using it? Is there a way you could gamify it? You could add a concept like Pokemon Go. Like they can catch something whenever they are using it.

Photo of Adhish Patel
Team

Hi Manjunath , I like the idea of gamification and a similar idea is posted which is @Walking Alive "The MobileGame" . The perception of games for elderly adults is very subjective. Hence I wanted to keep it serious but simple to use diagnostic tool. I am worried if the gamification might lead to the dismissal of the seriousness of the product.