Falls in older adults are a major cause of morbidity and mortality and are a key class of preventable injuries. This paper presents a patient-specific (PS) fall prediction and detection prototype system that utilizes a single tri-axial accelerometer attached to the patient’s thigh to distinguish between activities of daily living (ADL) and fall events. The proposed system consists of two modes of operation: 1) fast mode for fall predication (FMFP) predicting a fall event (300msec-700msec) before occurring, 2) slow mode for fall detection (SMFD) with a 1-sec latency for detecting a fall event. The nonlinear Support Vector Machine Classifier (NLSVM)-based FMFP algorithm extracts 7 discriminating features for the pre-fall case to identify a fall risk event and alarm the patient. The proposed SMFD algorithm utilizes a Three-cascaded 1-sec sliding frames classification architecture with a linear regression-based offline training to identify a single and optimal threshold for each patient. Fall incidence will trigger an alarming notice to the concern healthcare providers via the internet. Experiments are performed with 20 different subjects (age above 65 years) and a total number of 100 associated falls and ADL recordings indoors and outdoors. The accuracy of the proposed algorithms is furthermore validated via MobiFall Dataset. FMFP achieves sensitivity and specificity of 97.8% and 99.1%, respectively, while SMFD achieves sensitivity and specificity of 98.6% and 99.3%, respectively, for a total number of 600 measured falls and ADL cases from 77 subjects.
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