IBV developed this innovative and reliable biomechanical application to evaluate fall risk in older adults in one minute
Instituto de Biomecánica (IBV) has developed FallSkip system in order to provide a more versatile solution adapted to the needs of healthcare professionals regarding the assessment of fall risk in older adults.
As expresses the Head of Innovation in Biomechanical Assessment, David Garrido, ‘FallSkip device allows healthcare professionals to objectively measure patients’ risk of falling, in a totally reliable way, which allows them to define customized preventive and clinical interventions’.
FallSkip assesses the overall risk of falling by combining the result of the biomechanical test with the main risk factors: age, gender and patient history of falls. The fall risk result is available immediately after the test; ‘providing an accurate, fast and intuitive assessment on a single screen
The assessment lasts, including the instrumentation of the patient and the performance of the test, approximately one minute. As pointed out Garrido, ‘this device has been designed to be used by healthcare personnel in the clinical setting, where objectivity and time-saving provide a great added value to the clinical protocol’.
FallSkip ‘aims to help save both the personal and economic costs linked to the social and medical interventions that the falls of the elderly involve’.
Challenges of the aging of the population
Nowadays, there is a trend of aging of the world population, especially in Europe and particularly in Spain. This increase of the population over 65 years implies an increase in the number of falls.
As WHO exposes, one out of three older adults falls at least once a year, which is one of the major geriatric syndromes and the second world cause of accidental or unintentional death. That is why prevention strategies to adopt by health systems should be directed to the identification of risk factors.
David Garrido explains that ‘a fall usually implies a deterioration in the autonomy of elderly people, which reduces their quality of life and that of their social environment, increasing the fragility of the older person‘.
30% of people over 65 and 50% of those over 80 fall at least once a year in Spain. Most of these falls have clinical consequences such as hip fracture, whose average cost of discharge per patient is € 8,365, which represents millions of euros in health care costs. 60,000 elderly people die every year in the world because of falls and, according to the WHO, every 11 seconds an older adult is treated in the emergency department because of falls.
FallSkip device, designed and developed by IBV, is a clinical protocol based on a modification of the Time Up & Go (TUG) test in order to obtain a simple and reliable risk of falling index.
This index is obtained from biomechanical records that make it possible to define a model to classify fall risk. This model is based on gait pattern, balance, muscular power, as well as temporal variables.
The FallSkip assessment system consists of an Android based recording system and a measuring protocol specially designed to assess the risk of falling.
The test develops in four consecutive phases during one minute: the measuring device, located in the patient's lower back, records the accelerations generated by the patient's movement throughout the test.
From the acceleration measured, the system segments the phases of the test and sets the parameters to calculate the biomechanical variables associated with the risk of falling: balance assessment; gait assessment; assessment of the ability to sit and stand up; and evaluation of the reaction time to an auditory stimulus.
FallSkip assesses the overall risk of falling by combining the result of the biomechanical test with the main risk factors: age, gender and patient history of falls. The fall risk result is available immediately after the test.