January 18, 2022

Reducing the Risk of Falls for the Elderly

Falls are the leading cause of injury among the elderly, resulting in an estimated 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths in American seniors every year. A serious fall can set off a devastating domino effect, leading to ongoing health effects, social isolation, and depression.

Seated Exercise Technology

Seated Exercise Technology (SET) could reduce age-related losses in muscle strength and balance while preventing falls. It was developed by a consortium of experts, including Professor Alon Wolf and Dr. Deborah Solomonow-Avnon at the Technion; scientists at Philips Research; researchers at RWTH Aachen University; and entrepreneurs and physicians at Mopair Technologies.

SET monitors users in their daily routine with sensors created by scientists from Philips Research and RWTH Aachen University. The sensors measure seniors’ balance and walking quality.

Those who are deemed at risk of falling are referred to SET rehabilitation, where they work with Mopair Technologies’ innovative new Balanseat. The device allows users to remain seated while they exercise and strengthen their legs and upper body, which is crucial for reducing risks of falls.

The Balanseat allows physical-rehabilitation professionals to constantly monitor how patients are doing and tailor physical therapy to meet their unique needs.

Saving Lives and Money

Falls and their related injuries often force seniors into long-term care facilities, which can double or triple their health care costs. In 2015, the National Council on Aging showed that fall injuries cost $50 billion in the U.S. alone. That number is expected to reach $67.7 billion by 2020 as the population ages.

SET can help reduce these costs by monitoring the risk of falls and providing customized exercises to prevent seniors from falling.

An Integrated Solution

SET is an example of how Technion innovation combines expertise and insights from across disciplines to save lives. SET will help seniors cope with frailty and recover from falls faster, changing the trajectory of their health for the better.