Research

Fall down monitoring and alert system

LinkWell

LinkWell is a design challenge submission, aiming to improve elderly's life quality and facilitate independent living. Most of the reported falls are life threatening emergency falls. However, non-emergency falls in which the elderly get up on their own right after can be detrimental to their health as well. To address this lack of attention on those non-emergency falls, we designed a fall down alert and tracking system for the elderly and their caregivers.

Company/ 

Personal

 

Role / 

UX/UI Designer

 

Collaboration / 

2 designers (3D modeling) and 2 engineers

 

Year / 

Oct, 2016- Dec, 2016

We talked to caregivers, manager and elderly clients from Bloomington HomeInstead Senior Care Center and learned that:

Aging cause a variety of health problems, ranging from vision impairment, hearing loss, and mobility issues.

Caregivers express concerns on the elderly's safety at home. Specifically, the center would provide assisting services if needed when bathing to prevent fall down accidents.

In general, only around 10 out of 150 seniors have emergency medical alert system installed at home. Most of them are not exposed to smartphone technology.

Many elderly show respect to their family members' time and life, and would like to maintain a healthy connection with them without having the feeling of being a liability. 

Strategy

Elderly fall down should be perceived as a physical-psychological problem. While the physical aspect-- immediate severe injuries from emergency major falls are usually addressed in time with the aid of existing medical alert products on market, damage of minor falls (elderly would get up on their own) are ignored. 

Current health tracking and monitoring wearables collects varieties of health-related data such as pulse, heart rate, blood pressure etc, yet falls short of presenting data in a clear way so that viewers can understand what it means, and take actions on it.

To maximize the usefulness of technology, it is important to let the product fit into elderly's existing routines.

Wearable

We designed a wearable for the elderly to wear so it's not intrusive. This wearable serve as a watch on daily life, and can detect fall downs and send alerts to caregivers when it happen.

Adjustable Wrist Band

Time Display Button

Microphone & Speaker

Minor Fall Interaction

Caregiver can monitor activities from the other side.

When multiple minor fall happens, the elderly would get a warning from the wearable itself. The tangible interface glows in blue light to give the warning. The elderly can press the interface to listen to the automatic warning sent from the wearable, as well as the voice message from the caregive if there’s any.

Caregiver gets notifications minor falls happen.  

However, rather than sending notifications to the caregiver every time a minor fall happens, the system sends notifications when the number of minor falls reaches certain amount within certain time. 

Keep Track

Caregiver receives a warning when multiple minor falls happen and a prompt to encourage the caregiver to connect with the elderly via phone call or voice messages.

Minor Fall Notification

Emergency Fall Interaction

Device would call 911 immediately and send a message to caregiver.

When emergency happens, caregiver receives an emergency notification, informing caregiver that the wearable is calling 911. The call-to -action button in the notification prompts the caregiver to call the elderly as soon as the emergency call ends.

When an emergency fall down is detected, the screen glows in red light. The elderly can press the tangible interface to call 911 directly if needed.

Connect in Time in Emergency

A reminder pops up, preventing emergency call ends by mistake.

Onboarding & User Profile

Caregiver needs to register for the elderly when the device is used first time. Each device has its own serial number. All it takes is to connect is to input the device code.

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© 2020 by Alison Cheng