iFall: An android application for fall monitoring and response

Presented in Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2009. EMBC 2009. Annual International Conference of the IEEE , pp.6119-6122

Injuries due to falls are among the leading causes
of hospitalization in elderly persons, often resulting in a rapid
decline in functionality and death. Rapid response can improve
the patients outcome, but this is often lacking when the injured
person lives alone and the nature of the injury complicates
calling for help. This paper presents an alert system for
fall detection using common commercially available electronic
devices to both detect the fall and alert authorities. We use a
common Android-based smart phone with an integrated tri-
axial accelerometer. Data from the accelerometer is evaluated
with several threshold based algorithms and position data to
determine a fall. The threshold is adaptive based on user
provided parameters such as: height, weight, and level of
activity. These variables also adapt to the unique movements
that a cellphone experiences as opposed to similar system which
require users to mount accelerometers to their chest or trunk.
If a fall is suspected a notification is raised requiring the
user’s response. If the user does not respond, the system alerts
prespecified, social contacts with an informational message via
SMS. When a contact responds with an incoming call the system
commits an audible notification, automatically answers the call,
and enables speakerphone. If a social contact confirms a fall, an
appropriate emergency service is alerted. Our system provides
a realizable, cost effective solution to fall detection using a
simple graphical interface while not overwhelming the user
with uncomfortable sensors.

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Keywords: AndroidSubMenu, assistive technology, fall monitoring, mobile monitoring, sensors, Telemedicine