Systematic review with meta-analysis of fall detection systems for elderly care: perspectives for an aging population in Japan
by Wataru Hoshi
Abstract – A combination of demographic, social and economic factors are causing an immense strain on the elderly care systems of Japan and other countries with aging populations. Advances in automation offer promising means of reducing labor costs while also improving the lives and privacy of those in care. Here, we aim to analyze the feasibility of automatic fall detection systems for the elderly, gain an understanding of the current status of fall detection and its possibilities, and finally, examine the steps necessary to overcome current limitations. Using systematic review methods, papers were searched in PubMed and screened based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. Seven papers were used to create a quantitative synthesis. There was a large variation of fall detection methods that used wearable, ambient or both types of sensors, combined with unique algorithms to interpret whether a fall has occurred. The difficulty in ethically and safely using elderly people as subjects remains an issue in fall detection tests. The lives of our grandparents, parents and eventually ourselves can be saved through the development of this technology.