Every second of every day. That’s how often older adults in America suffer falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of injury and injury death in the U.S. for people 65 and older. Around 1 in every 5 of these falls results in an injury, and a staggering 95% of hip fractures are because of falls. CDC guidelines for fall prevention include exercise to improve strength and balance, regular medical checks of eyes and feet, and making the home a safer environment.

One way to make the living environments of older Americans safer is through fall assessment and detection; AltumView’s Sentinare system does both. How? With the device, caregivers and loved ones can keep watchful eyes on the older Americans in their lives without violating their privacy. A WiFi-connected camera uses both infrared and visible light; infrared covers a two-meter distance, and visible covers three.

To install the system, one needs to mount a single camera on a wall or place it high on a shelf so that it can capture most of a room, including the floor. In the connected app, the floor area appears green, giving the camera’s sensor the ability to detect a fall. And how is the privacy of the person being monitored protected? They appear as stick figures on the screen, and the system saves videos of these stick figures on the cloud. Facial recognition distinguishes between two or more people living in the space being monitored.

Should a person fall, an alert goes out through the app. If the system detects that a person is at risk of falling, it sends a notification. The device has two-way voice communication, allowing the older adult to talk through a speaker and the person on the other end to talk through their smartphone or tablet. There’s also a wave detection feature; should a person need help, all they need to do is wave their hand at the camera, prompting a notification through the app. The also collects data on daily activities, displaying metrics including how long a person has spent sitting, standing, sleeping, and walking.

In cases such as dementia, where greater vigilance is needed, the Sentinare has the option to create restricted zones. For example, one could designate an exit door as a restricted zone and receive a notification if the person being monitored passes through it. All of this happens in near real-time because the device’s smart sensor embeds AI algorithms on a chip rather than sending data to the cloud for processing. And there is no subscription fee. The $200 price tag covers everything, though one can integrate the system with Alexa Together for an additional fee.