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Get Granny a Smartphone

From the annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society, Orlando

iFall is a new Smartphone application in development to detect and warn others when an elderly patient falls.

The technology recognizes a phone’s fall and impact. If the phone does not move after impact, it automatically rings, vibrates and flashes. If there is still no response (and the alert is not manually canceled), a call is automatically placed to friends, family, or even next-door neighbors using Google Voice.

If a friend or family member determines it’s a true emergency, the iFall system turns on the speakerphone and calls 911 using multiparty mode.

Frank Sposaro (photo by D. McNamara)

The system is less expensive than a medical monitoring device and works through existing cell phone plans, said Frank Sposaro of the Computer Science Department at Florida State University (FSU). FSU is developing the technology to  run on any Android-based device.

The system worked well in the laboratory, Mr. Sposaro said at his poster. Volunteer testing using wrestlers at the university is underway. A prototype for researchers is expected out at the end of summer 2010.

—Damian McNamara (@MedReporter on Twitter)
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Filed under Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, IMNG, Internal Medicine