Outreach efforts by The Electronic Caregiver Company aim to attract seniors towards thinking about being physically active while educating participants about their fall risks.
The combination of advanced technologies including an arsenal of 3-D motion capture cameras, a pressure mat walkway with over ten thousand sensors, a series of highly-targeted lifestyle questions, and physical tests allow Electronic Caregiver to refer patients to physicians armed with comprehensive data encouraging them to find appropriate preventive services.
Supplementing the efforts at identifying and addressing risks of fall, Electronic Caregiver’s medical alert system provides the ultimate safety net by providing access to care when an individual does fall. Gaining access to care in a timely manner has been shown to have a significant impact on the severity of health complications of falls.
Touring nationwide with all of these technologies is The Electronic Caregiver Mobile Fall Assessment Laboratory. This lab provides an unparalleled volume of opportunities for research through outreach efforts and data collection according to the specifications that have been developed by the Reduced-Gravity and Biomechanics Lab at New Mexico State University.
This partnership between NMSU and The Electronic Caregiver Company allows taking a scientific gait analysis process that has previously been only tried in isolated laboratories and placing it into mass production. This process is enhanced by pairing it with the Comprehensive Fall Risk Screening Instrument for further identify risks of fall and also providing even more data collection. After just one year of events, Electronic Caregiver has amassed the 3rd largest fall-risk data collection in the United States.
The focal point of these outreach efforts is an interest in falls prevention, falls being the leading cause of injurious death in older adults and the number one reason for hospital admissions. By collecting this data, the hope is to powerfully encourage institutional studies and changes in the lives of participants that result in functional lifespan and successful aging.
These efforts allow The Electronic Caregiver to demonstrate publicly that the Electronic Caregiver Medical Alarm product line is based on evidence of what works for the goals of preserving ability in older adults to function in daily living and maintenance of overall quality of life. With support from the scientific community, Electronic Caregiver can demonstrate this evidence by collecting data in ways that are scientifically sound.
Once the tests are completed, Electronic Caregiver lab personnel review results with the participant. With printed results from the Comprehensive Fall Risk Screening Instrument, The Electronic Caregiver Company is able to make lifestyle suggestions that can reduce risk of fall. Among the most common recommendations are Vision Care such as updated prescriptions, and reduction of Home Environment Risks, such as night lights in common areas.
While the 3-D Motion Capture Camera and Walkway Pressure Mat software suites generate a vast wealth of data, it’s important to give participants and their physicians data in a format that is meaningful and easy to understand. Electronic Caregiver streamlines what participants receive by providing results and comparison numbers for 5 quantitative gait markers. These gait markers have tangible thresholds for risk developed by Albert Einstein College of Medicine in conjunction with Yeshiva University, as published in The Gerontological Society of America.
- Gait Velocity, which is the rate at which the person moves while walking.
- Cadence, which is the number of steps a person takes per minute.
- Swing Time, which is the percentage of time a person spends with only one leg contacting the ground.
- Stride Length, which is the percentage of time a person spends with only one leg contacting the ground.
- Double Support Time, which is the percentage of time a person spends with both feet in contact with the ground.
When results in these markers indicate a gait impairment, common recommendations include strength and flexibility training, balance training, proper assistive device usage, and proper footwear.
Data gathered from the mobile lab is shared on cloud servers with New Mexico State University where Motion Capture data can be used to create 3-D models of the participants walking to bring the data to life and allow visual analysis. That 3-D motion information is coupled to walkway data from the same session to allow a truly comprehensive analysis of that person’s gait. Further information and comparison can be gathered when this scientific data is compared with sociological data collected in the Comprehensive Fall Risks Screening Instrument.