Technology Utilization in Fall Prevention

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2021 Jan 1;100(1):92-99. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001554.


Falls, defined as unplanned descents to the floor with or without injury to an individual, remain to be one of the most challenging health conditions. Fall rate is a key quality metric of acute care hospitals, rehabilitation settings, and long-term care facilities. Fall prevention policies with proper implementation have been the focus of surveys by regulatory bodies, including The Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, for all healthcare settings. Since October 2008, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has stopped reimbursing hospitals for the costs related to patient falls, shifting the accountability for fall prevention to the healthcare providers. Research shows that almost one-third of falls can be prevented and extensive fall prevention interventions exist. Recently, technology-based applications have been introduced in healthcare to obtain superior patient care outcomes and experience via efficiency, access, and reliability. Several areas in fall prevention deploy technology, including predictive and prescriptive analytics using big data, video monitoring and alarm technology, wearable sensors, exergame and virtual reality, robotics in home environment assessment, and personal coaching. This review discusses an overview of these technology-based applications in various settings, focusing on the outcomes of fall reductions, cost, and other benefits.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / economics*
  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control
  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Care Costs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Medicare / economics*
  • Medicare / statistics & numerical data
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient-Centered Care / economics*
  • Patient-Centered Care / statistics & numerical data
  • United States
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*