Approximately 30% of hospital patient falls result in physical injury, with 4-6% resulting in serious injury. Falls occurring in hospital settings can cause severe emotional and physical injury to patients as well as increase healthcare costs for the hospitals. The common method currently being used to minimize patient falls is to install a pressure sensitive pad on patient’s bed. The idea is to send an alarm to the nurse station as soon as the patient has lifted himself up. More often than not, this is too late. By the time a nurse gets to the patient’s room, the patient is already down.
Internet of Things can potentially be the solution. Just imagine each patient has a 3-axis accelerometer attached to his body that sends data about his body’s movements to a monitoring computer on a real time basis. The same computer also has access to the patient’s demographics, health records, medication, fall risk profile and other relevant meta data. A sophisticated algorithm (the intellectual property of the inventor) processes the available data and predicts the patient’s physical needs including the need to go the bathroom. This information is then used to prompt nurses on duty to act accordingly.
This is what ‘big data’ can do to change the ball game ….