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A Wireless Sensor Network Compatible Triaxial Accelerometer: Application for Detection of Falls in the Elderly

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With the advancement in wireless sensor network (WSN) technologies, it is possible to use them for health monitoring from remote location. Human activities such as rest, walking and running can be monitored by using accelerometer attached on human body. The activity monitoring system can give an alarm to care givers or doctors for urgent assistance when it detects dangerous activity like fall in the elderly. A MEMS accelerometer is used to measure the acceleration of a person who wears the sensor unit on the chest during different activities. Wireless sensor node is used for initial data processing and wireless transmission of acceleration data from accelerometer to server PC. Sensor node transmits acceleration data wirelessly using IEEE 802.15.4 to the base node connected to PC through RS-232 serial communication. The received real time accelerometer data from sensor unit is processed at PC for activity classification like walking, running and falling. The developed fall detection algorithm includes the RMS (root mean square) value of three axes acceleration data and the angle value of z-axis from vertical axis of ground to detect the fall. The angle value is included in our algorithm to distinguish fall and running which show same RMS acceleration values in some cases. The feasibility test is done by conducting experiments on 3 persons for resting, running and falling and showed 85% of fall detection accuracy in various conditions such as falling after running and falling after standing.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2008

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  • The growing interest and activity in the field of sensor technologies requires a forum for rapid dissemination of important results: Sensor Letters is that forum. Sensor Letters offers scientists, engineers and medical experts timely, peer-reviewed research on sensor science and technology of the highest quality. Sensor Letters publish original rapid communications, full papers and timely state-of-the-art reviews encompassing the fundamental and applied research on sensor science and technology in all fields of science, engineering, and medicine. Highest priority will be given to short communications reporting important new scientific and technological findings.
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