Australia to deploy world-first sensor technology platform for aged care fall prevention

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HSC Technology Group and partners Whiddon, Anchor Excellence and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, have been awarded an Aged Care Research and Industry Innovation Australia (ARIIA) grant with a total value of nearly $400,000 to run a feasibility study using a data analytics platform that combines sensor technology to prevent falls in residential aged care.

Consulting Clinical Research Director for HSC Technology Group, Dr Maggie Haertsch, said the prevalence of falls is unacceptably high in residential aged care and more research is required to support quality and safer care.

“The ARIIA funding will be used to develop the BEST CARE Project, which will provide an excellent opportunity to be smarter in detecting functional changes early and help design care to enable older people to have timely support as their needs change,” she said.

The BEST CARE Project will test the feasibility of a world first sensor platform called Talius in residential aged care.

Talius platform incorporates an algorithm originally developed and tested in an in-home care setting by CSIRO as part of their Dementia and Aged Care Services trial using the Smarter Safer Homes platform.

It uses a combination of sensors placed around the residential aged care home with settings adjusted to individual risks to identify factors that can lead to a fall. The study will explore the acceptability of these autonomous sensors and the use of an individual’s ‘sensor story’ to inform residents, their families, and care staff of the older person’s wellbeing. The study will also identify any barriers to adoption and the impact of this technology on the organisation’s operations.