Virtual reality, predictive analytics, sensors, and other artificial intelligence (AI) solutions are helping keep older adults from falling, according to a recent HealthTech article.
 
For example, to find undiagnosed balance issues, North Carolina researchers are recording how older adults react to virtual reality systems that give the illusion of falling or swaying. A California hospital has reduced fall rates by 39 percent in six months by using predictive analytics drawn from the electronic health data of high-risk patients.
 
A Missouri retirement community is using sensors to track changes in residents' gait speed and stride length. In a recent pilot program in the United Kingdom, wearable devices noted subtle indications of frailty a month before an incident. And in California, startups Cherry Home and SafelyYou are using AI systems with sensors, cameras, and analytical tools to identify warning signs in older adults.
 
SafelyYou provides passive monitoring specifically for memory care residents, using real-time video and AI that notifies on-site caregivers when a resident falls, said recent Senior Housing News article "Carlton Senior Living Reduces Memory Care Falls 31% With AI Tech."
 
SafelyYou also records the video, which can reduce Emergency Room visits and help providers know when and how the fall happened—because some memory care residents can't tell if they're hurt or can't tell their caregiver what happened.
 
At Carlton Senior Living, seven of the 11 communities are using SafelyYou, according to Senior Housing News. Carlton has seen a 61% drop in emergency medical services calls and a 31% reduction in falls among the approximately 175 memory care residents who participate. Carlton has also found that SafelyYou helps attract and retain residents.
 
SafelyYou is yielding positive results in other places as well, said Senior Housing News. One recent study funded by The National Institute on Aging found that SafelyYou brought an 80% drop in the use of emergency services. A separate 2016 study found a reduced fall rate in a 40-resident memory care community in California.

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