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D2. Monitoring and Managing Falls

Principal Investigator: 
Laura Rice, Ph.D.
Jacob Sosnoff, Ph.D., Peter Presti, MSCS, Harshal Mahajan, Ph.D.
Libak Abou, M.S., Alex Fliflet, B.S.
Permobil, AB; Post-Polio Health International; Illinois Community Health and Aging Collaborative

Falls are common among wheelchair users and can result in injury, added challenges with daily activities, and admissions to hospitals and long-term care facilities.  We are developing a system that will accurately detect falls from wheelchairs to automatically alert caregivers or emergency professionals who can quickly respond to help. This will be accomplished through measuring acceleration patterns to detect a fall from a wheelchair and developing, refining, and evaluating a prototype for a customizable fall detection system. We will develop and test the prototype with the long-term goal of improving fall outcomes and recovery for wheelchair users.

        Female wheelchair user trying to turn around in kitchen


Related Publications:

Koon, L. M., Khaleghi, R. Blocker, K. A., Rogers, W.A., Sreenivas, R.S. (2020). On Integrating Voice-Activated Digital Assistants with Smart Home Technologies to Support People with Long-Term Mobility Disabilities: Needs Assessment, Product-Selection and Implementation. Proceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management, Dubai, UAE. (pp/ 513-514).

Rice, L. A., Sung, J. H., Peters, J., Bartlo, W., Sosnoff, J. (2019). Perceptions of fall circumstances, recovery methods and community participation In manual wheelchair users. American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation10.1097/PHM.0000000000001161
Rice, L.A., Peterson, E.W., Backus, D., Sung, J.H., Yarnot, R., Abou, L., VanDenend, T., Shen, S., Sosnoff, J.J. (In Press). Validation of an Individualized Reduction of Falls (iROLL) intervention program among wheelchair and scooter users with multiple sclerosis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.​
Rice, LA., About, L., vanDenend, T., Peterson, E., Sosnoff, J.J. (2018). Falls among wheelchair and scooter users with multiple sclerosis. US Neurology, 14(2): 82-7. 10.17925/USN.2018.14.2.82
Rice, L.A., Sung, J.H, Peters, J., Bartlo, W., Sosnoff, J. (2018). Perceptions of fall circumstances, injuries and recovery techniques among power wheelchair users. Clinical Rehabilitation 32(7) 985-993. 10.1177/0269215518768385
Rice, L.A. Isaacs, Z., Ousley, C., Sosnoff, J.J. (2018). Investigation of the feasibility of an intervention to manage fall risk among wheeled mobility device users with multiple sclerosis. International Journal of Multiple Sclerosis Care. 20-3:121-128. 10.7224/1537-2073.2016-097
Sung, J., Trace, Y., Peterson, E., Sosnoff, J., Rice, L. A. (2017). Falls among fulltime wheeled mobility device users with spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis: A comparison of characteristics of fallers and circumstances of falls. DisabilRehab, 41, 389 -395. 10.1080/09638288.2017.1393111
Rice, L.A. Kalron, A., Berkowitz, S., Backus, D., Sosnoff, J.J. (2017). Fall prevalence in wheeled mobility device users living with multiple sclerosis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 96:35(e7860). 10.1016/j.apmr.2016.08.120
Rice, L.A., Ousley, C., Sosnoff, J. J. (2015). A systematic review of risk factors associated with accidental falls, outcome measures and interventions to manage fall risk in non-ambulatory adults. Disabil Rehabil. 37(19): 1697-705. 10.3109/09638288.2014.976718

Project Status: 

Our team is currently working on developing and refining an algorithm to appropriately classify fall events and non-fall events to serve as the foundation for a custom fall detection device.  We are also conducting interviews to gather the preferences and needs of the target population related to a fall detection device to assist in developing a user friendly device. See study flyer for details.