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Are Wearable Devices Effective for Preventing and Detecting Falls? An Umbrella Review

A recent umbrella review (review of systematic reviews) by BMC Public Health reveals that wearable device technology has been shown effective at detecting falls and is a promising emerging field of telemedicine that can offer a low-cost and accurate way to detect falls and summon for help.

The aim was to review the published literature on the effectiveness of wearable electronic devices for fall detection in adults. All outcomes in the included systematic reviews were considered, including fall detection, fall prevention, assessing the risk of falling, reduction in hospital admission and reduction in fractures due to falls.

The review also found that there are significant differences in the effectiveness of these devices, depending on the type of device and where it is placed on the body. The current evidence would suggest that researchers should be testing these devices on the trunk of the body or on the legs/shin.

We at Motum agree with these findings. A wearable on the wrist will always be less effective at fall prevention, gait analysis and risk assessment than a technology that observes motion, force and stability from the legs and trunk (center of mass), such as our smart mobility aid.


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