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Falling is the most common cause of injury among the accidents with elderly. In the Netherlands, every five minutes an elderly person falls in such a way that emergency treatment is necessary.

Estimating the risk of falling is important for a targeted intervention to prevent falls. The BRAVO project studies new technologies to estimate the risk of falling in realistic environments. It also studies the acceptance of such technology.

Currently there is a huge growth in the field of consumer products for measuring activities and movements; both for the fitness industry (eg. Fitbit, Jawbone) and in the gaming world (eg Kinect, Wii). Companies in the field of healthcare technology are curious whether they can develop products and services based on this technology.

In this project we focus on their question whether these consumer products can be used to infer fall risk. If we succeed, the occasional measurements in a clinical setting can be replaced by the continuous measurements in everyday life.

The research comprises the determination of the accuracy, robustness and acceptance of technology in realistic environments to measure the motion characteristics of the elderly (domestic and hospital environments).

The study is organized around the research question:

“How can motion capture technologies that have proven themselves in a controlled environment, be used in residential areas and in the hospital, for the purpose of estimating the risk of falling among the elderly?”

The study will be conducted in two parallel cases: assessing the risk of falling in the home environment and the risk of falling in the hospital. In both cases, a living lab approach is adopted: the technological solutions of the SMEs are iteratively, in practice, studied and developed. The embedding of technology in the care process is included in the study.

The knowledge gained will be used by the participating SMEs in new products and services. The research is conducted by a multidisciplinary team consisting of the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (Domain Digital Media and Creative Industries and Domain Health), the Vrije Universiteit (Kinesiology), AMC (Geriatrics), healthcare providers Cordaan and Amsta and the participating SMEs.

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