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Falls related injuries among elderly patients in hospitals or residents in residential care facilities is a significant problem that causes emotional and physical trauma to those involved while presenting a rising healthcare expense in countries such as Australia where the population is ageing. Novel approaches using low cost and privacy preserving sensor enabled Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology may have the potential to provide a low cost and effective technological intervention to prevent falls in hospitals. We outline the details of a wearable sensor enabled RFID tag that is battery free, low cost, lightweight, maintenance free and can be worn continuously for automatic and unsupervised remote monitoring of activities of frail patients at acute hospitals or residents in residential care. The technological developments outlined in the paper forms part of an overall technological intervention developed to reduce falls at acute hospitals or in residential care facilities. This paper outlines the details of the technology, underlying algorithms and the results (where an accuracy of 94-100% was achieved) of a successful pilot trial.
Date of Conference: Aug. 28 2012-Sept. 1 2012