Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Video game tech tested to deal with falls

Make fun all you want, youngsters, just wait. When you get older, as a friend of mine put it, you can lean over and keep leaning--she said it was like "the stopper" was broken.

I leaned over to carpet sweep a few feet in front of me and folded to the floor. Bing bing bing. And could not get up! That commercial is no laugh riot, either. I am missing sight in one eye, too--so that side is not constantly lining up with walls and other data points--my balance is wacky as a result. Or as I prefer to say--unreliable.

Between 700K and a million people fall IN THE HOSPITAL each year. I know a woman with a broken hip who fell out of bed and broke the other hip. This stuff really really sucks, by the way.

At the Univ of Missouri, a prof in the nursing dept is working on this. Falls happen in hosps, she says, because people are weak and injured.

So they have tried Doppler radar, sound sensors and video cameras to monitor patients. The video cameras can show what happened before the patient fell--which can be valuable.

Video is replaced now with motion-caputre technology, which protects the patient's privacy.  This is a technique used in video games.

If a person is on the floor, it uses algorithms to decide if they are tying their shoe or if they fell.

They set this up in six hospital rooms--and no one fell--but they did have people simulate falling and the technology identified the falls.

With Mom--and to some degree with me--someone holding my arm is also a big help.

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