Social-aware Event Handling within the FallRisk Project

Methods Inf Med. 2017 Jan 9;56(1):63-73. doi: 10.3414/ME15-02-0010. Epub 2016 Dec 6.


Objectives: With the uprise of the Internet of Things, wearables and smartphones are moving to the foreground. Ambient Assisted Living solutions are, for example, created to facilitate ageing in place. One example of such systems are fall detection systems. Currently, there exists a wide variety of fall detection systems using different methodologies and technologies. However, these systems often do not take into account the fall handling process, which starts after a fall is identified or this process only consists of sending a notification. The FallRisk system delivers an accurate analysis of incidents occurring in the home of the older adults using several sensors and smart devices. Moreover, the input from these devices can be used to create a social-aware event handling process, which leads to assisting the older adult as soon as possible and in the best possible way.

Methods: The FallRisk system consists of several components, located in different places. When an incident is identified by the FallRisk system, the event handling process will be followed to assess the fall incident and select the most appropriate caregiver, based on the input of the smartphones of the caregivers. In this process, availability and location are automatically taken into account.

Results: The event handling process was evaluated during a decision tree workshop to verify if the current day practices reflect the requirements of all the stakeholders. Other knowledge, which is uncovered during this workshop can be taken into account to further improve the process.

Conclusions: The FallRisk offers a way to detect fall incidents in an accurate way and uses context information to assign the incident to the most appropriate caregiver. This way, the consequences of the fall are minimized and help is at location as fast as possible. It could be concluded that the current guidelines on fall handling reflect the needs of the stakeholders. However, current technology evolutions, such as the uptake of wearables and smartphones, enables the improvement of these guidelines, such as the automatic ordering of the caregivers based on their location and availability.

Keywords: Decision making; computer-assisted; decision support systems; information systems; user-computer interface.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls*
  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Decision Trees
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Risk Factors
  • User-Computer Interface