Many of us have experience with an older relative who wants to remain independent for as long as possible, but who we fear may injure themselves if left alone. One key to helping older Americans live longer, healthier, and more independent lives is fall prevention and detection. Two companies recently announced a partnership to create wearable solutions for the elderly population to help prevent and detect falls and improve outcomes in the post-acute care rehabilitation environment.
Sensoria, maker of smart garments and wearable technology, and Genesis Rehab Services (GRS), a provider of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, respiratory therapy, and wellness services for older adults, will collaborate to deliver smart aging solutions that can be used for post-acute care in a clinical setting and the direct to consumer market. Sensoria’s microelectronic device can be used as a stand-alone wearable or connected to the company’s digitally enhanced footwear to detect and prevent falls. The sensors in the footwear (smart socks and smart shoes) allow caregivers to monitor motion and other factors to analyze a patient’s condition and direct treatment and rehabilitation therapies. Sensoria’s wearable smart aging products and services will leverage clinical knowledge and data from Genesis Rehab Services therapy environments, combining the clinical strength of Genesis with the technology and intellectual property that Sensoria has developed. The new company will be called Sensoria Health.
Falls compromise the safety and independence of elderly Americans and create economic and personal costs. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an older adult dies from a fall every 19 minutes. Falls are the number one cause of injuries and death from injury among older Americans and result in more than $31 billion in annual Medicare costs. Without prevention, this cost will increase as the number of Americans 65 and older is projected to double by 2060. The combination of clinical validation for smart garments from GRS and digital technology and smart aging tools from Sensoria will help reduce falls, thereby reducing health care costs, and improve the mobility and independence of those 65 plus.