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Falls are a major concern for the elderly and their ability to remain healthy. Fall detection systems may notify emergency responders when no one apart from the injured is present. However, their real-world application is limited by a number of factors such as high false positive rates, low-compliance, poor-usability and short battery lifetime. In order to improve these aspects we have developed a miniaturized 3D accelerometer integrated in a belt buckle, the actibelt®, and a fall detection algorithm. We have used a new evaluation method to assess the upper limit of the false alarm rate of our algorithm using a large set of long term standardized acceleration measurements recorded under real life conditions. Our algorithm has a false alarm rate of seventeen false alarms per month and has the potential to be reduced down to at most three false alarms per month when activities which require the sensor to be removed are eliminated. In laboratory settings, the algorithm has a sensitivity of 100%. The algorithm was sucessfully validated using data from a real-world fall.