Essence SmartCare, a leader in remote care and telehealth solutions and services, and the Aging2.0 Collective, the corporate innovation arm of Aging2.0, the global innovation platform for aging, today released findings of a new report charting the impact of falls as the biggest accident-based killer of people over 65, and the increased risk from falling suffered by seniors since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Global Falls Innovation Report shows that falls represent the second leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths worldwide. The risk is highest among the elderly, for whom falls are the leading cause of injury, hospital visits due to trauma, and death resulting from injury. The report estimates that, worldwide, a total of 646,000 individuals die from falls every year, representing 73 deaths every hour.
Drawn from dozens of peer-reviewed studies on elderly care, the research further analyzes how the ongoing pandemic has exacerbated fall-related challenges. It highlights how, due to increased frailty from lack of exercise and movement during coronavirus lockdowns, in addition to shortages of care staff, there is a critical likelihood of increased incidences.
“We are proud to lead this significant research project highlighting such an important issue. It helps pave the way to improving the care services that prevent and respond rapidly to fall incidents,” said Barak Katz, General Manager of Essence SmartCare. “Understanding the enormity of the issue and the technological solutions available to tackle it is part of Essence’s commitment to improving the lives of elderly and vulnerable populations in order to mitigate the devastating impact of falls and fall-related injuries.”
The report further assesses various technologies and strategies that can be deployed to reduce the number of falls and the severity of their outcomes, noting fall assessment solutions and fall detection technology as scalable, affordable and time-efficient interventions.
According to the research, falls are increasing globally due to the world’s growing aging population. In 2019, there were 703 million people aged 65 and over, a number that is projected to reach 1.5 billion by 2050. The report warns that, if preventive and proactive measures are not taken in the immediate future, “catastrophic consequences” will ensue.
“In the U.S. alone, some $50 billion is spent annually on medical costs related to non-fatal fall injuries and $754 million is spent related to fatal falls, while the global cost is expected to increase to $240 billion by 2040,” said Stephen Johnston, Co-founder of Aging2.0. “The research cited in this report sheds light on the various challenges, while also exploring various strategies that can be deployed to reduce the number of falls and alleviate the burden on health systems and care providers.”
“Essence has developed a variety of fall detection solutions, including an AI-based battery-operated radar sensor,” said Dr. Haim Amir, CEO and Founder of Essence Group. “We are now in the process of developing predictive fall technology that will significantly reduce the number of falls experienced by seniors, lowering the cost for governments and healthcare providers.”