A project supported by Interreg
A new digital approach for an increasing problem.
The risk of falls in the elderly is influenced by many factors, it's time to use new and existing data sources to more accurately determine a person's risk.
Falling is a major problem in the elderly. Half of the residents of nursing and care homes fall at least once a year. Such a fall can have major consequences such as: broken limbs, examinations and hospital admissions. In the first place, this has a big impact on the person itself, but it also takes a lot of extra care and therefore time from the professionals. The care organizations tanteLouise and Groenhuysen are carrying out a project with Kinetic Analysis in which an innovative measuring method is used to reduce the number of falls. The project also challenges the team that a system is developed that allows upscaling at other organizations. This project is part of the CrossCare project, which is made possible in part by Interreg Vlaanderen-Nederland.
tanteLouise and Groenhuysen experience that falls in the elderly often have serious physical and social consequences. “As a healthcare institution, we are facing a huge challenge due to the increasing number of frail older people and growing need for professionals. Deployment of technological applications can contribute to reducing the number of falls, ”says Jente Krijnen, project leader at tanteLouise. For the latter, both healthcare institutions selected Kinetic Analysis from nine companies that have a possible solution to the problem. Kinetic Analysis specializes in projects with data on human movement.
Innovative measuring method
Kinetic Analysis has developed an innovative measuring method, in which cameras are used to determine the balance of the elderly. By linking this information to already existing information, such as fall history, medication use and blood values, the fall risk per client can be determined. In addition, based on this information, tailor-made advice is also given about the measures that can be taken. “We want to investigate together with tanteLouise and Groenhuysen to what extent our solution can contribute to preventing falls. We use existing data from the Electronic Health Records, supplemented with data from our measuring equipment, ”explains Maarten Gijssel of Kinetic Analysis. “Based on the results, specific treatment and support advice is drawn up for the client in question. That advice may consist of a fall prevention program or, if necessary, an aid such as a rollator, stick, WOLK or BalanceBelt.”
The method is being tested for the first time in the psychogeriatric wards of the nursing homes of tanteLouise and Groenhuysen. The project involves co-creation sessions and live tests, so that the method can be further developed and improved together with professionals and clients. Not only is the instrument itself looked at, but also the way in which this smart solution can be developed in such a way that it can also be easily used by other care organizations. "More effective care for the clients as well as cost savings for the organization are created by more effective use of the data around the clients," says Maarten Gijssel. "A time saving of at least half is expected based on previous studies and field research with Groenhuysen."
“We hope that this project will enable us to identify the client's risk of falling more broadly and more quickly,” add Judith van Wijngaarden and Wendy Hendrickx van Groenhuysen. "The primary goal is to reduce the number of falls in the future."
The research into personalized fall prevention among elderly people living in hospital is financially supported by the international CrossCare project that stimulates, supports and accelerates innovations in healthcare in the Netherlands and Flanders.