According to Kinesis Health Technologies, about 30% of all elderly individuals 65 and older suffer at least one fall every year. In long-term care facilities, the risk of a fall can be as high as 50%. Many of these falls result in injury, and often require hospitalization and can lead to other complications. In the U.S. alone, falls by the elderly costs about $30 billion every year. Kinesis has responded to this challenge by creating the Kinesis QTUG which is designed to help healthcare professionals assess and monitor a patient’s risk of falling. QTUG stands for “Quantitative Timed Up and Go.”
The system is designed to be used by professionals in a clinical setting; this is not a consumer device. The patient wears wireless sensors that transmit data to a tablet or smartphone via a Bluetooth connection. The sensors have three-axis gyroscopes and accelerometers. The patient then executes a prescribed series of actions: rising from a seated position, walking, and turning around. The data is analyzed to provide information about the patient’s gait and balance, and to create a baseline performance that can be monitored for changes over time.
By monitoring a patient’s stability, healthcare providers will be able to accurately assess the risk of a fall. This could greatly reduce the injuries that result from such falls, and we will be able to take corrective action before a patient gets hurt.