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Testing the 'safety Alarm 2.0'

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A researcher helps Skjoldvor Msval, resident at the Laugsand day care center, adjust the belt that will trigger an alarm if she falls.

Researchers have developed a system designed for the elderly that will trigger an alarm in the event of a fall.

Credit: Adresseavisen Kjell Fikse

Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and SINTEF have developed a belt-based system designed for the elderly that triggers an alarm if the user falls down. The system, now undergoing testing, consists of a mobile phone connected to a hip belt that can be programmed and connected to a fall algorithm.

In the future, the researchers hope to refine the system so it is more practical and functional than a mobile phone sewn into a belt.

"Now we can test how our fall calculations relate to the real world, as opposed to the data set used today, which is based on fall simulations," says SINTEF researcher Yngve Dahl. "Thus, a key part of this test is collecting realistic data on what happens when an elderly person falls in the real world. This work is being undertaken in close collaboration with the Institute of Movement Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology."

The testing data will be used to fine-tune the algorithms, which also involves measuring movement and changes in speed. Dahl says the most important aspect of the research is to develop systems that not only work from a technical perspective, but which elderly people also are willing to use in practice.

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