“If Falling Were A Disease, It Would Be Deemed An Epidemic”

Julie Keefe for The New York Times

“… researchers are beginning to apply the digital tools of low-cost wireless sensors in carpets, clothing and rooms to monitor an older person’s walking and activity. The continuous measurement and greater precision afforded by simple computing devices, researchers say, promise to deliver new insights on risk factors and tailored prevention measures. For an older person, a fall is often a byproduct of some other health problem: cardiovascular weakness, changes in medication, the beginnings of dementia, gradual muscle degeneration. Motion analysis aided by inexpensive sensors and computing, researchers say, may well become a new “vital sign,” like a blood pressure reading, that can yield all sorts of clues about health.

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