Barron Associates Awarded Grant to Study Falls in Hospitals

Fall detection, assessment, and prevention is a challenging issue across the care continuum. Despite wide recognition as a considerable problem, fall-related injuries are still the most frequently reported adverse events in hospital inpatient settings. Diverse factors contribute to falls, including patient factors (e.g., cognitive state, muscle weakness, medications), environmental factors (e.g., bed/toilet positioning, trip hazards), and institutional factors (e.g., poor responsiveness to call bells or bed/chair alarms, inadequate fall prevention measures). Although hospitals employ diverse programs to prevent falls and fall injuries, an essential component to a fall prevention program is accurate determination of fall events, as many falls are “unseen” and unreported.

The FallCall system leverages powerful sensing capabilities to provide robust fall detection and to report fall locations without bothersome false alarms. The body-worn instrument will embody a reusable miniature electronics package that is encapsulated in a disposable, hypoallergenic adhesive patch. The patch can be placed anywhere on the torso to minimize interaction with other medical equipment or injury sites. The system will continuously monitor patients and issue a timely alert if a fall is detected, minimizing patient time on the ground, as well as injury assessment and treatment latencies.