An aged care provider in Sydney has teamed up with Australia’s leading experts to trial an Australian invention that can predict falls among older people with 75 per cent accuracy.
The trial is part of a new partnership between Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and Mark Moran Group (MMG) to develop ground-breaking health and wellness innovations to support the aged care sector and older Australians.
The partnership includes the rollout of new app-based wellbeing assessment tool FallScreen+, which builds on more than 30 years of NeuRA’s studies at the Falls Balance and Injury Research Centre.
In Australia one in three people aged 65 or over fall one or more times each year, and falls is a major cause of hospitalisation for this cohort.
The FallScreen+app features nine tests, which are used to calculate the overall fall risk of a person over 60 and identify cognitive and physical impairments that can be treated.
Senior NeuRA researcher Associate Professor Kim Delbaere said the tool had significant implications for the aged care sector.
“FallScreen+ is unique because it screens issues early on, flags problem areas and makes recommendations for effective treatment strategies to address potential health problems,” Associate Professor Delbaere said.
“This tool will help identify the specific needs of an individual and based on the data it collects, it will advise whether they need to be referred to clinicians or allied health professionals.
“For example, our trials have shown this tool can predict falls in older Australians with an accuracy of over 75 per cent,” she said.
The tool is designed for use by aged care health professionals, such as physiotherapists, psychologists, fall prevention clinicians and researchers, to track an individual’s likelihood of having a fall and select and monitor fall prevention treatments.
The tests assess wellbeing, weekly physical activity levels, concern about falling during daily activities and executive function.
The tool also measures reaction time, ability to see edges under low contrast situations, lower limb strength, standing balance on foam, and coordinated leaning balance.
FallScreen+ is being trialled at Mark Moran Group, which has three aged care and retirement living facilities in Sydney, to measure the wellbeing and health status of residents.
“The FallsScreen+ app is a game changer,” said MMG co-founder Mark Moran.
“One day we will look back and ask how older Australian’s could have aged safely without it. We’re at a point where the technology is now available thanks to NeuRA.
“By working with NeuRA we’re doing our bit to make sure it’s available to older Australians. It’s time for us all to step up and bring about change and work together to meet individual and collective aspirations,” he said.
Following the trial, the tool will be made available via app stores for relevant aged care professionals.
Comment below to have your say on this story