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Accelerometer-based fall detection for smartphones

: Aguiar, Bruno; Rocha, Tiago; Silva, Joana; Sousa, Ines


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-; IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society:
IEEE International Symposium on Medical Measurements and Applications, MeMeA 2014. Proceedings : Lisbon, Portugal, 11 - 12 June 2014
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4799-2922-1
ISBN: 978-1-4799-2921-4
ISBN: 978-1-4799-2920-7
International Symposium on Medical Measurements and Applications (MeMeA) <9, 2014, Lisbon>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer AICOS ()
ADL; accelerometer; aging; classification algorithm; fall classification; fall detection; inertial sensors; smartphone

Falls are considered the main cause of fear and loss of independence among the elderly population and are also a major cause of morbidity, disability and health care utilization. In the majority of fall events external support is imperative in order to avoid major consequences. Therefore, the ability to automatically detect these fall events could help reducing the response time and significantly improve the prognosis of fall victims. This paper presents a unobtrusive smartphone based fall detection system that uses a combination of information derived from machine learning classification applied in a state machine algorithm. The data from the smartphone built-in accelerometer is continuously screened when the phone is in the user's belt or pocket. Upon the detection of a fall event, the user location is tracked and SMS and email notifications are sent to a set of contacts. The accuracy of the fall detection algorithm here proposed is near 97.5% for both the pocket and belt usage. In conclusion, the proposed solution can reliably detect fall events without disturbing the users with excessive false alarms, presenting also the advantage of not changing the user's routines, since no additional external sensors are required.