UNSW conducted a validation study of My Medic Watch's fall detection algorithm that helped to build scientific credibility and user confidence.
Older adults experience an increased risk of falls and fall-related injuries. Approximately 30% of people aged 65+ who are living in the community fall at least once a year. In instances where no one is around to assist the fallen individual, the impact can be devastating.
There are a number of smartwatches available that offer consumers in-built health applications such as fall detection. However, most have not been scientifically tested for sensitivity and specificity, rendering their effectiveness unfounded and potentially unreliable.
My Medic Watch partnered with UNSW to independently test the effectiveness of its fall detection algorithm, making it one of the first in market to do so.
"People don't want to buy an app only to discover the algorithm doesn't work. They need to be reassured that if they have a fall, they will get the help they need. That's important."
Serge Lauriou, Innovation Manager - My Medic Watch
UNSW devised an experiment to assess the accuracy metrics of My Medic Watch's algorithm on different models and brands of smartwatch. The testing specifications involved detection of induced falls from various angles including front, side (left and right) and back.
Key to the success of the experiment was UNSW's research lab, the National Facility for Human-Robot Interaction, which used video recordings for post-fall analysis and assessment.
UNSW provided the complete data set to My Medic Watch who used it for further product evaluation and improvements.
"Each fall is different, based on the nature of the fall, body type, and body composition. The My Medic Watch algorithm is unique in the sense that we use very specific parameters. This means the research experiment was also unique."
A scientifically validated fall detection app can reduce the time it takes an individual to receive medical intervention following a fall, potentially saving lives and prolonging the independence of the ageing population.
"The validation study is important to My Medic Watch's product development and credibility within the scientific community. Equally, it has been a necessary step to build user confidence."