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Journal Article


Aziz O, Robinovitch SN. IEEE Trans. Neural Syst. Rehabil. Eng. 2011; 19(6): 670-676.


(Copyright © 2011, IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers))






Falls are the number one cause of injury in older adults. Wearable sensors, typically consisting of accelerometers and/or gyroscopes, represent a promising technology for preventing and mitigating the effects of falls. At present, the goal of such ambulatory fall monitors is to detect the occurrence of a fall and alert care providers to this event. Future systems may also provide information on the causes and circumstances of falls, to aid clinical diagnosis and targeting of interventions. As a first step towards this goal, the objective of the current study was to develop and evaluate the accuracy of a wearable sensor system for determining the causes of falls.Sixteen young adults participated in experimental trials involving falls due to slips, trips, and other causes of imbalance. 3D acceleration data acquired during the falling trials were input to a linear discriminant analysis (LDA) technique. This routine achieved 96% sensitivity and 98% specificity in distinguishing the causes of a falls using acceleration data from three markers (left ankle, right ankle and sternum). In contrast, a single marker provided 54% sensitivity and two markers provided 89% sensitivity. These results indicate the utility of a three-node accelerometer array for distinguishing the cause of falls.

Language: en


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