Healthcare Technology Featured Article

September 29, 2020

Health Technology to Prevent or Mitigate Slip and Fall Accidents

Slips and falls are more dangerous than they seem. In fact, a lot of these incidents may result in irreparable damage that diminishes the quality of life of a victim. While there are professionals like this Brooklyn slip and fall attorney who can help victims secure full and fair compensation, accident prevention is always preferable.

This is where technology comes in. It’s no secret that our lives are made safer and more convenient by the technologies that we have. The same rings true for slips and falls, but only in terms of fall detection wearables that call responders to a victim’s location.

What Do We Have So Far?

While we don’t have a measure that actively prevents falls, we do have measures that are a step in the right direction. Some of these technologies can warn caregivers and doctors of an imminent fall, while others help improve a patient’s stability, and while others help mitigate the risk of sustaining an injury from a fall. So, what are these technologies?

Ankle-Foot Orthosis

Ankle-foot orthosis (AFOs) are attachable supports that help control the position and motion of the ankle, thus allowing it to compensate for weakness. AFOs are typically used to help a limb contract into a more natural position. AFOs enhance stability when stationary and when in motion, and they also help bolster a patient’s confidence to walk, which in turn improves a patient’s ability to avoid falls.

Shoe-Embedded Sensors

These shoes have sensors installed in them to detect minute changes in a wearer’s ordinary foot movement, and to transmit a warning to medical personnel when a fall is imminent. While these smart shoes have yet to become mainstream, the technology is still being developed.

Hip Protectors

When all hope of prevention fails, the best that we can do is to mitigate the risk of a patient sustaining an injury in a fall. Hip protectors function exactly as their name suggests. Hip protectors are wearable protective gear. They are designed to reduce the risk of hip fracture by up to 80% and they can be used in conjunction with other safety measures such as fall mats and padded furniture.

However, the challenge faced in the use of hip protectors is the difficulty of convincing patients to wear them regularly. Modern iterations of hip protectors come with a stick-on design that is significantly less cumbersome than their wearable counterparts.

Shock-Absorbent Flooring

This is better known as “compliant flooring” and it helps mitigate the risk of an injury during a fall by compressing upon a forceful impact and popping back up after. Studies have revealed that compliant floors have significantly decreased the frequency of head injuries.

Technology will always play a major role in daily life. This is especially true in the healthcare sector, which is heavily reliant on technology. While we currently don’t have technology that directly prevents falls and slips, we do have alternatives that are a step in the right direction.

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