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Calculating the risk of falls

ARMED has been helping users to improve their self-awareness and empowering them to take control of their own health, improving both their physical and mental wellbeing as a result.

A year of both social and physical immobility has had a huge impact on the mental and physical wellbeing of older people, leading to an increase in a range of frailty risks.

As outlined in our recent ARMED white paper, a 2020 study by University College London (UCL) found that social isolation is associated with a high risk of reporting a fall and receiving hospital treatment following such an incident. The study found that more than 51 percent of participants experienced falls and nine percent went to hospital as a result.

Public Health England indicated that approximately 34 percent of over 65’s were at risk of falling, rising to 45 percent for those over 80.

As lockdown restrictions continue to ease, the need to reduce falls (and the subsequent care packages these generate) has therefore never been more urgent. In other extensive research, the costs associated with falls and fractures has been well evidenced:

  • - In England alone, there are over 9.7m people aged over 65
  • - The Scottish Government’s Falls and Fracture strategy (2019-2023) referenced that statistically 10% of those over 65 will annually suffer a fragility fracture. Of these, 8% were considered as moderate harm (such as wrists, arms, elbows, shoulders etc) while 2% were seen as severe harm (such as fractured neck of femur)
  • - NHS Improvement (England) has specified costs associated with fractures which includes that of moderate and severe harm - as a total over a two-year period this is an associated cost of £9.8bn

During the pandemic, businesses and organisations across the health and social care sector have been quick to embrace new digital technologies. Thanks to wearable devices, we can now easily collect and make sense of day-to-day health data which was previously out of reach. When analysed correctly, this data has the potential to revolutionise our approach to health and social care.

As such, in order to meet the challenges of an ageing population, we must shift to more proactive approaches to person-centred care. While it’s true that the adoption of new, or indeed any, technology can be daunting, especially for older people, our ARMED wearable technology has been providing a lifeline for many across the country.

With the way in which we access services having changed as a result of Covid restrictions, ARMED has been helping users to improve their self-awareness and empowering them to take control of their own health, improving both their physical and mental wellbeing as a result.

The feedback we’ve had from services and their service users so far has been phenomenal:

Muriel, a service user of Cardiff’s Telecare Service, which trialled our ARMED solution, said: “I’m very pleased that my local council are taking the issue of falls seriously. To be part of such a pioneering project is exciting and I’m hoping to get a better insight and understanding on my own health, which will hopefully allow me to stay in my own home for a lot longer.”

Rosemary, a service user from Dumfries and Galloway, is a very anxious lady and can often feel low and lethargic. Since using the polar band, her mood has lifted “significantly”, it has motivated her to be more active and she really enjoys getting the feedback on how she is doing. On a physical level, her legs are now much less swollen due to moving around more regularly making it easier for her to get around.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Prevention technology has yet to be leveraged to its full potential throughout the UK, but it appears that those who have become early adopters are reaping the rewards. One of the biggest challenges faced within England is a fragmented health and social care budget which makes it difficult to determine who makes the investment to determine future savings.

With the move towards Integrated Care Systems in England, we hope to see reduced barriers to adopting prevention technology soon. As we enter the new financial year, now is the time to think about how much you could be saving by investing in prevention technology while also helping to enable longer, healthier, active and independent lives.

To find out the falls calculation in your area, visit our falls calculator: https://www.hastechnology.com/fall-calculator