Graduated: June 1, 2015
Examining the Feasibility and Acceptability of a Fall Detection Device
Falls are a very complex challenge for older adults and our health care system. They are especially dangerous when the fallen individual is unable to get up from a fall independently. This “long lie” has been shown to be almost as damaging as the fall itself and has the ability to affect not only the fallen individual’s physical health but also their mental health. Current technology designed to detect these falls are often inappropriately designed for the older adult population and are improperly used if at all.
This dissertation includes three studies that cover various aspects of older adults’ use of fall detection technology. The first study is a systematic review which assesses the current state of design and implementation of fall detection devices. The second study seeks to more clearly understand older adults’ perceptions of fall detection technology using focus groups. The third study is a feasibility study investigating the usability of a wearable fall detection device that employs innovative GPS and automatic detection technologies. I will go over the results of these studies and identify challenges associated with these devices and provide design recommendations for improving these devices.
Last Known Position:
User Experience Researcher, Microsoft
George Demiris (Chair), Hilaire Thompson, Elizabeth A. Phelan, Dori Rosenberg (GSR)