LTU app prevents falls

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A simple electronic mobile device will be able to alert a caregiver when an elderly person makes movements that indicate he or she is about to get up from a wheelchair. 

Known as “Sparrow,” this Android device was developed by an team of physicians, scientists and professors to provide caregivers the information they need to return in time to prevent an elderly occupant from leaving a wheelchair unnoticed and unassisted. 

Sparrow fuses multiple sensors, a microprocessor, artificial intelligence and Internet technologies into a tool designed to intercept falls, says Thomas Goulding, chair of Southfield, MI-based Lawrence Technology Institute’s Department of Math and Computer Science.

“Falls are the leading cause of injury and death among the 170 million elderly in Europe and America,” says Goulding. “Over 50 million will fall during the next 12 months and 10 million will visit an emergency room. Lowering this fall rate is Sparrow’s mission.” 

The device is currently in clinical evaluation at Chelsea Retirement Community in Chelsea, MI.