Fall Down Tracking System
Brief: A design challenge project to improve life of the elderly. Most of the reported falls are life threatening emergency falls. Non-emergency falls in which the elderly get up on their own right after can be detrimental to their health as well. We address this lack of attention on those non-emergency falls by designing a fall down alert and tracking system for the elderly and their caregivers.
Team: Tian Song, Yuki Zhang, Sanchit Soni
My role: Ideation, Sketching, User Research, Prototyping with XD
Our design is a fall down tracking & alert system that consists of a wearable wrist watch and a complimentary app. The wearable is for the seniors, which can detect fall downs. The app can receive fall down data, and prompt caregivers to take actions such as sending voice messages when needed.
Adjustable Wrist Band
Time Display Button
Microphone & Speaker
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.
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
When emergency happens, caregiver receives an emergency notification, informing caregiver that the wearable is calling 911. The call to action button in the notification allows 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.
BEHIND THE SCENE
We did secondary research, and also talked to caregivers, manager and elderly clients from Bloomington HomeInstead Senior Care Center. We 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.
I just realized that my Dad is not as good as he was before. He lives alone and thinks he's fine, but I'm really worried. Last week I visited, he insisted on making me a cup of tea, and he almost stumbled. He has a wheel chair but he doesn't want to use it.
I have my own apartment. I try to take care of myself but I guess I'm certainly not as agile as before. I felt down a week ago in my bedroom, but I got up on my own. My daughter lives in the same city, but she has her own life and I don't want to bother.
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, attitudes and perceptions on minor falls (elderly would get up on their own) are misinterpreted. Consequently, care and attentions are not adequately given from elderly themselves and caregivers.
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.