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A smartphone-based fall risk assessment tool: Testing Ankle Flexibility, Gait and Voluntary Stepping

: Guimarães, Vania; Ribeiro, David; Rosado, Luis; 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>
Fraunhofer AICOS ()
Fall Risk; Fall prevention; ageing; smartphone; inertial sensor; Ankle Flexibility; Gait; Voluntary Stepping

Falls are a frequent occurrence in elderly population, contributing significantly to injuries and decreased quality of life. However, through evidence-based interventions for fall prevention, specific risk factors can be modified, offering an opportunity to reduce the number of falls among older persons. An enhanced knowledge of the nature of the risks is of paramount importance to enable a proper design of preventive schemes. In this paper, indicators of declines in balance and mobility are evaluated using a smartphone-based system in alternative to traditional methods such as force platforms and cameras. Fall risk assessment tests were adapted to the smartphone enabling it to test Ankle Flexibility, Gait and Voluntary Stepping. Experimental results show a good correlation of most of the variables derived from the tests using the smartphone and force platforms or cameras. In conclusion, the implementation of these tests in a smartphone platform to measure fall risk-related features supports the feasibility of a valuable alternative to the traditional technology used in dedicated laboratories for the analysis of movement.