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Tunstall Healthcare Group

Clinical Articles, Lead Article

Automatic fall protection alarm launched for elderly

A new personal fall detection alarm (iVi™ pendant, Tunstall), that automatically calls for help in the event of a fall, could save lives and reduce the financial burden on the NHS, say the manufacturers.

The automatic pendant reacts to changes in barometric pressure, acceleration and static orientation and determines whether a fall has taken place. The alarm wirelessly connects with a base station in the home of the person using the system. Once the fall is detected, the base station automatically dials the response centre and an operator uses a loudspeaker in the home unit to talk to the person and arrange appropriate help, or call the emergency services if unable to raise a response.

To date, manual alarms have depended on the person to press the button, but research from NICE has shown that many elderly and frail people with alarms thought they had pressed the button when they had not, could not reach their alarm or see any advantage in having a pendant. Some were confused what to press, or when.

iVi in hand

iVi™ pendant

The new device automatically notifies the telecare response centre if it has not registered movement for a period of time, suggesting that the person has not worn it.

The device can be ordered through a Local Authority, or direct from Tunstall, as part of a monitoring service.

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Published on: June 20, 2013

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