An interdisciplinary UNSW project is researching fall prediction technology

12 Apr 2023
A man on a running machine with monitors attached

Ageing Futures Institute and Tyree Foundation Institute of Health Engineering are jointly funding an important project to track body movement and reduce falls in the elderly.

A team of interdisciplinary researchers across UNSW has been awarded the 2023 Ageing Futures Institute (AFI) and Tyree Foundation Institute of Health Engineering (Tyree IHealthE) 2023 seed grant of $60,000 for their project. The award was presented to Dr Reza Argha (Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering) and colleagues Dr Michael Stevens (Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering), Dr Kim van Schooten (School of Population Health/NeuRA), and Professor Kim Delbaere (School of Population Health/NeuRA).

AFI Director Professor Kaarin Anstey said, “This grant supports interdisciplinary research to address the unmet clinical needs of ageing through technology and we are delighted to be offering this grant for the first time with our Tyree IHealthE colleagues.”

This exciting project explores human activity recognition and human-human interaction recognition for older people, especially persons living with dementia (PLWD). Digital sensors that quickly and effectively indicate undesirable self-ambulatory actions are a major advance to transform the practice of managing falls of PLWD in aged care facilities and hospitals where staff are often busy.

The proposed method for tracking human pose can improve the practices used to prevent falls in PLWD in aged care facilities by developing an innovative model of care. It incorporates digital technologies which will reduce the use of chemical or physical restraints to immobilise PLWD.

“Being an Institute at UNSW presents an opportunity to create and grow a community,” said Tyree IHealthE Director Professor Nigel Lovell. “We can work towards connecting unmet needs with UNSW technological innovations, co-designing solutions to improve health outcomes locally and globally.”

For more information, see Ageing Futures Institute and Tyree Foundation Institute of Health Engineering.