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TECH TALK: Technology is key for falls prevention

Jonathan Papworth (1)

Person Centred co-founder and director, Jonathan Papworth, explains how technology can help dramatically reduce care home falls.

Studies involving care homes monitoring fluid levels have shown that monitoring personal fluid levels can lead to a 33% reduction in falls.

This is backed up by the East of England Ambulance Service whose clinical lead said: “Falls related calls make up a large percentage (17-18%) of the incidents we attend every day. We regularly see dehydration as a contributory factor in our elderly patients who have fallen; common complications include low blood pressure, weakness and dizziness, all of which can increase the risk of falls.”

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Monitoring fluid levels historically was performed by a daily fluid chart, but this is normally highly inaccurate, but also too late to help. Digital care systems can monitor fluid levels all the time, and highlight to carers anyone whose fluid intake is below the norm so that immediate action can be taken to rectify the issue. In addition, there are innovative solutions like Jelly Drops which help elderly people self-hydrate when their natural responses to thirst are less effective.

There are also some emerging technologies that help care providers manage falls risks better, one of these is using Benchmarking to compare risks across the sector against a particular demographic, which can help to ensure the investment processes to manage falls is appropriate.

There is also automated guidance based on Artificial Intelligence where the digital evidence of care can be used to predict the likelihood of a fall for any particular individual so that preventive measures can be put in place.

Whilst this might seem impossible to some people, academic research has shown that a particular algorithm achieved an 87% accuracy at predicting a fall within the next two weeks. Armed with this information, a care provider will be able to adjust care routines and practices for each individual to minimise the probability of fall.

Tags : Best practiceFalls PreventionInnovationPerson Centred Software
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The author Lee Peart

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