The risk of falls is a major concern in the health sector as it can lead to serious health complications in elderly individuals, who may experience declines in health and physical fitness. In fact, many Canadian medical reports
show that fractures due to falls are a prominent contributor to the health issues faced by seniors. To prevent falls before they happen, please take a look at our fall prevention guide
Early detection of falls is crucial, as it enables emergency response teams to provide quick assistance and can help prevent seniors from experiencing long-term effects such as brain trauma, coma, paralysis, or other adverse results. Fortunately, advanced technology has provided a solution. Medical alert devices, and smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch
, have integrated automatic fall detection technology to ensure that emergency services can provide quick medical assistance and prevent further incidents. Medical alert devices have on-the-go systems and fall detection pendants that can help determine when a fall occurs. These features can be invaluable to seniors and people with disabilities as a call for help can be automatically triggered.
What Is Fall Detection?
Fall detection technology is often built into medical alert devices and automatically detects falls when the user loses their balance or slips and falls. If a fall is detected, the sensors will identify it as a fall, and emergency response contact list will be informed.
The built-in detection sensors – which is often an accelerometer or gyroscope – detects a drastic change in altitude and triggers an alert message to either family, friends, or a health care professional, providing the user with immediate assistance. These are wearable devices which can be worn on the wrist, neck, or waist, and are generally portable to ensure the individual stays connected to immediate assistance. If you have stairs in your home and don’t have a stair lift
, it is recommended to get a device like this for added protection.
How Does Automatic Fall Detection Work?
Fall detection technology is a critical feature of medical alert systems and smart devices that can detect a fall and trigger an urgent request for help. This technology involves recognizing the fall and taking prompt action. The following factors make up the entire fall detection system:
Advanced technological devices use sensors that operate with a gyroscope or an accelerometer. Low power radio wave technology is also used in some devices to monitor the user’s movement and detect any drastic changes. The components of the sensor determine the fall detection system’s quality. These devices undergo a series of tests before government approval. Ask your provider to see which sensor best suits your needs to prevent the risk of falling.
The sensors detect a change in altitude and speed, and a special algorithm translates these figures to determine whether they qualify as a fall or something more common, like clapping your hands. This algorithm understands an individual’s body position, physical activity, and the natural smoothness of a fall compared to regular movement. Once the software receives these variables, it analyses them to see if they fall within the danger zone and proceeds to send for help or assistance.
Medical alert devices go through a series of tests to calibrate their sensors to only trigger an urgent help message during a severe fall. In some instances, however, minor events like falling off the bed or the sofa may not trigger any emergency alert. For this reason, most devices are equipped with emergency buttons that the individual may click if they require assistance after a minor fall.
Medical alert systems, usually in the form of a pendant or wristband, can summon assistance for the relevant medical authorities in the case of a fall. Some devices come with a built-in speaker and microphone for two-way communication, enabling the response team to deduce whether the situation requires immediate help or just quick assistance.
Visit our comparison page
for a complete list of Canadian best medical alert systems. Ensure that you select the system that meets your needs and budget to protect yourself or your loved one.
Benefits Of Automatic Fall Detection In Canada
Fall detection in medical alert systems is a valuable feature that can help the elderly in several ways. Falls are one of the leading causes of injuries and hospitalizations among seniors, and they can have a significant impact on their physical and emotional wellbeing.
With fall detection technology, the medical alert system can automatically detect when a fall has occurred and send an alert to the monitoring center, even if the user is unable to press the help button themselves. This means that if the user is unconscious or unable to move, the monitoring center can still send help to their location.
In addition to providing emergency assistance, fall detection can also help prevent falls from occurring in the first place. Many medical alert systems with fall detection feature also have a built-in accelerometer that tracks the user’s movements and detects changes in their activity level. If the system detects a sudden change or decrease in activity, it can alert the user and their caregivers, who can take action to prevent a fall from happening.
Overall, fall detection in medical alert systems can provide peace of mind to both the user and their loved ones, as well as a higher level of safety and security. It can also help seniors to maintain their independence by allowing them to live at home for longer, knowing that help is always available if needed.
Although fall detection devices in medical alert systems are primarily used by the elderly or people with disabilities; other individuals like construction workers or workers in high-risk occupations may carry a fall detection device to summon for immediate assistance in case of an emergency, for example if they suffer a fall at a job site or while operating dangerous and heavy equipment.
Canadian Companies That Offer Fall Detection Devices
Galaxy Medical Alert
Galaxy Medical Alert Systems has been providing independent living for seniors for over 25 years. The company believes that all seniors and vulnerable individuals should have the freedom to live independently. With fall detection technology and 24/7 emergency response, the system ensures prompt assistance and affordable safety features.
Life Assure is the ideal medical alert system for seniors and disabled individuals who want to be independent. It comes with a wearable pendant or wristband, GPS, fall detection, and instant access to help. The device provides direct connection to the 24/7 emergency response centre with the push of a button.
SecurMEDIC™ is one of Canada’s most prominent brands in the alert system market. The two-way monitoring system is designed to keep seniors and their family members protected in their homes in case of a medical emergency. The device comes with a base station, a pendant or wristband model with fall detection, 24/7 monitoring service, and an emergency monitoring center.
Lifeline is another relevant Canadian brand that offers an easy-to-use personal response service that provides the user with help at any time of the day or night, even if the individual can’t speak. The device comes with an emergency button, fall detection, and different portable models.
Telus is one of Canada’s largest producers of medical alert systems as their aim is to revolutionize the health sector with technology. Their system comes equipped with fall detection, a single button for emergencies, constant monitoring teams, and many more. They are the ideal gadget for seniors and individuals who desire constant access to help anytime.
Cost of Fall Detection Devices
Fall detection systems are optional and generally cost around $10 a month as a small add-on. Each provider has a different cost associated with their devices. The add-on cost is usually associated with the home base system that comes with an optional fall detection device. Some companies offer built-in automatic fall detection in their mobile devices or “on-the-go” devices.
Most company devices work similarly, so the cost should be relatively the same. Check out the above list or the best medical alert systems to find which company best suits your needs.
Are Fall Detection Devices Reliable?
Fall detection devices can be reliable, but their accuracy and effectiveness may vary depending on various factors, such as the type of device, the technology used, and the user’s specific circumstances.
As mentioned, most fall detection devices use accelerometers or other sensors to detect sudden changes in movement, such as a fall. When a fall is detected, the device may emit an alarm or send an alert to a monitoring center or caregiver, who can then take appropriate action.
However, fall detection devices are not foolproof, and there are some limitations to their effectiveness. For example, false alarms can occur if the device is triggered by sudden movements that are not actual falls, such as bending over or dropping the device. Additionally, falls that occur slowly or gradually, such as a slip-and-fall, may not be detected by some devices.
To ensure the reliability and effectiveness of a fall detection device, it’s important to choose a device that is appropriate for the user’s specific needs and circumstances. Users should also be trained on how to properly use the device and should regularly test the device to ensure it is functioning correctly.
Should You Get An Automatic Fall Detection Device With Your Medical Alert System?
Fall detection systems have been invaluable for those who age in place
. This technology can provide individuals, especially older adults, with first aid before their situation becomes dire.
Note that while a fall detection system in medical alert systems and smartwatches are effective, it is advisable to press the emergency button once a fall occurs in case the accident wasn’t detected. It is important to carefully research and choose a device appropriate for the user’s specific needs and circumstances and to regularly test the device to ensure it is functioning correctly.
If you or your loved ones are prone to falls, it is highly recommended to have a medical alert system with the fall detection feature add-on. This technology can provide peace of mind knowing that prompt help will be available in the event of an emergency.