Categories: Tech Explained

Dementia and Falls: Leveraging AI to Improve Patient Care

The statistics around dementia and falls are concerning. Data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) showed that 45.5% of older people with dementia have experienced one or more falls in 2016, compared to 30.9% of older people without dementia. This heightened fall risk has innovators asking: How can Artificial Intelligence (AI) be used to reduce the fall rate and improve patient care? Let’s look at a case study.

Dementia and falls: a case study

Meet Ruthie: she is 88 years old, a widow, a mother of 3, grandmother of 6, and great grandmother of 3. In high school, she was homecoming queen, in college, president of her sorority. As an adult she was an avid tennis player, skier and hiker, and belonged to book groups, bridge clubs and social clubs.

As you might guess, Ruthie has great social skills which enabled her to hide her dementia well. After some medical events, it became clear that she couldn’t live alone anymore and her family moved her into memory care.

Problems getting up from a fall

One night at her new home, Ruthie got out of bed to go to the bathroom and fell – hard. Once on the floor, like many older adults, she was unable to get up or get to the alert system to call for help.

In pain, she laid on the cold, hard floor for what may have been hours – no one really knows. Staff discovered Ruthie when they came to get her for breakfast. When questioned, Ruthie was sore, and she was unable to tell the staff how she fell or even exactly what hurt. Her family brought her to the emergency room where she was thankfully diagnosed with bruising and nothing more.

Important question – how did the fall happen?

Once the caregivers knew that Ruthie was not physically hurt, they needed to address some bigger questions. How did Ruthie fall and how could they prevent her from falling again? It’s questions like that which inspired the founders of SafelyYou.

How can AI be used to detect a fall?

Check out our customer story on SafelyYou. They created a solution that uses AI (artificial intelligence) enabled cameras for 24/7 monitoring. Artificial intelligence algorithms detect when someone is on the ground. Notification is automatically sent to on-site care staff or integrated with a nurse call system. And at the same time, a video of the event is recorded and made available to the staff. It includes recording of 10 minutes before the fall and 10 minutes after.

The video can then be used to determine the severity of the fall and if a visit to the emergency room is necessary. It also provides information on how the fall happened so that steps can be taken to reduce future falls.

Powerful processing at the heart of the solution

SafelyYou came to OnLogic in search of an industrial edge computer that could deliver powerful AI inference capabilities. The solution needed to be reliable and able to be installed in a variety of locations.

They chose the OnLogic Helix 600 with Intel 10th Gen Core i7 processing. The system is configured with a GPU and offers a unique fanless hybrid design. This maintains fanless, solid-state reliability of the core system while fans actively cool the GPU in a separate compartment.

SafelyYou is delivering real results and providing peace of mind for caregivers and families. 

Looking for a powerful platform for your AI innovation? Contact our technical sales team today!

Sarah Lavoie

Sarah Lavoie is a content creator for OnLogic. When not writing, she can usually be found exploring the Vermont landscape with her camera looking to photograph something amazing.

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Sarah Lavoie

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