Smplicare is asking housing associations and assisted living facilities to support their Observational Falls Study.
Funded through the recently announced UKRI Designed for Ageing Awards, the Edinburgh-based software company will commence one of the largest studies ever conducted involving older people and wearables in September.
Smplicare is looking for 300 adults over the age of 55 to help them with the study. Participating adults will receive an everyday wearable device, such as a Fitbit, alongside a Smart Scale (a more sophisticated bathroom scale) and be asked to go about their daily life while using the devices for at least six months. Smplicare will then use the data collected from the devices to develop software that can predict the likelihood of someone falling.
Falls cost the NHS and social care system £4.2bn annually, a staggering figure that highlights the importance of prevention. Additionally, 34% of the UK population over 65 is at risk of falling each year and many organisations are reporting increased fear of falling as people emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with less confidence in their mobility.
Smplicare is looking for organisations who are willing to partner with them to help identify individuals who meet the following criteria:
- Over 55 years old
- Has had a fall in the past 12 months
- Uses a smartphone regularly
- Can provide consent on own accord
- Can stand on a bathroom scale unassisted for 10 seconds
Participants will be able to keep the devices they are given provided they participate for the entire duration of the study. Smplicare will conduct the majority of the study through their mobile application which participants will download on their smartphone. We will also ask a series of assessment questions at different times through the study via the mobile application.
Beyond help with recruitment, participation can be tailored to the goals of landlords. For example, some partners have preferred minimal involvement while others hope to co-publish findings and use the partnership to expand digital inclusion programs.