How Does Fall Detection Work in Senior Safety Technology?

Two seniors walking outside on a trail.

Falls, a leading cause of injury and death among older adults, are an increasingly significant concern for many people as they age. Medical alert watches with fall detection have revolutionized senior care, becoming an essential tool to help prevent these incidents. 

Fall detection has grown in popularity in recent years due to its ability to save lives in emergencies. Read on to learn how fall detection works and how effective it is. 

How Does Fall Detection Work?

Senior woman sitting on floor after having fallen. The technology behind fall detection systems in medical alert watches is nothing short of remarkable. Using a combination of sensors and algorithms, the technology can detect falls and alert designated emergency contacts. Fall detection technology in medical alert watches is often very complex, including accelerometers, gyroscopes, and barometers. 

Accelerometers measure changes in acceleration and help identify a sudden impact or change in movement. For example, falls cause a sudden decrease in acceleration, which the accelerometer can detect. Similarly, gyroscopes measure orientation changes, helping the watch identify whether the wearer is upright or on their side. Finally, barometers measure changes in air pressure, indicating elevation changes and whether the wearer has fallen from a height.

These sensors work together to detect falls, but the real answer to the question of how does fall detection work happens with the WellBe® smartwatch algorithms. The algorithms analyze data collected by the sensors and determine whether a fall has occurred. 

They consider factors such as the wearer’s age, gender, and activity level to help differentiate between falls and other types of movement. This differentiation is significant because a sudden move may indicate a fall may be different for an older adult compared to a younger adult, and the algorithm needs to account for these differences.

Once a fall is detected, the medical alert watch automatically sends an alert to designated emergency contacts like family members, caregivers, or emergency services. The signal typically includes the wearer’s location and other vital information, such as medical conditions or medications.

One of the key benefits of fall detection systems in medical alert watches, like the WellBe watch, is that it can provide peace of mind for both the wearer and their loved ones. Falls can be a significant concern for older adults, and having a device that can automatically detect and alert for falls can provide a sense of security. Such security can help older adults maintain their independence and stay active while assuring their loved ones that they will be alerted in case of an emergency.

How Effective is Fall Detection?

Group of seniors smiling and taking a walk outside. It’s important to note that fall detection systems in medical alert watches are not foolproof. While the technology has advanced significantly in recent years, there are still limitations to what it can detect. For example, the sensors may not detect a fall in a specific position or if the watch is worn incorrectly. Additionally, false alarms can occur if the wearer makes sudden movements that mimic a fall.

Despite these limitations, fall detection is essential in fall prevention and senior care. It can provide peace of mind for the wearer and their loved ones, knowing that help is just a button press away in an emergency. Moreover, fall detection in medical alert watches can potentially save lives by alerting emergency services in the event of a fall.

Having answered the question of how does fall detection work, it’s worth noting that fall detection in medical alert watches should be part of a broader fall prevention strategy. A prevention strategy may include doing regular exercise to improve balance and strength, modifying the home environment to reduce fall hazards, and using assistive devices like canes or walkers. Fall prevention is a critical aspect of senior care, and using medical alert watches with fall detection is just one piece of the puzzle.

The WellBe family of devices offers multiple pieces to the senior safety puzzle. Between a smartwatch with optional fall detection, a medical alert pendant, and a home medical alert speaker, WellBe provides a web of security around seniors at all times and in all places. If you are ready to take the next step toward keeping your loved ones safer than ever, explore the state-of-the-art WellBe medical alert watch

Share this post