Feasibility of Non-contact Smart Sensor-Based Falls Detection in a Residential Aged Care Environment

Ann Borda, Cathy Said, Cecily Gilbert, Frank Smolenaers, Michael McGrath, Kathleen Gray

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


Few studies of sensor-based falls detection devices have monitored older people in long-term care settings. The present investigation has addressed this gap by trialing the feasibility and acceptability of a non-contact smart sensor system (NCSSS) to monitor behaviour and detect falls in an Australian residential aged care facility (RAC). Methods This investigation was undertaken using a mixed methods approach, comprising three phases: (1)Pilot study design and implementation at a RAC, using a purposive sampling approach;(2)Study evaluation and post-pilot interviews; and(3)Analysis and review of results.Results Data was collected for four RAC participants over four weeks of the NCSSS pilot study. Numerous feasibility challenges were encountered, for example, in the installation configuration, placement of sensors for optimal detection, network and connectivity issues, and maintenance requirements. Conclusion The area of smart sensor technologies in falls monitoring and detection remains a relatively emergent field of investigation, and presently there are few real-life studies of NCSSS in an Australian RAC setting reported in the literature. This study confirmed that NCSSS technology may have a role in falls and behaviour monitoring of elderly residents in RAC and home environments. However, feasibility factors may affect implementation and adherence.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRecent Advances in Intelligent Assistive Technologies
Subtitle of host publicationParadigms and Applications
EditorsHariton Costin, Björn Schuller, Adina Magda Florea
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783030308179
ISBN (Print)9783030308162
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameIntelligent Systems Reference Library
ISSN (Print)1868-4394
ISSN (Electronic)1868-4408


  • Ambient assistive technology
  • Falls detection
  • Falls monitoring
  • Patient safety
  • Residential aged care
  • Smart sensors

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