A consortium of organisations has won £1.3 million in funding from Innovate UK, for its Move More Live More programme, aimed at reducing falls among the elderly using artificial intelligence to inform its personalised intervention approach.

The Move More Live More programme uses health education, digital technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionise wearable, tech-enabled care. Its unique data monitoring platform could predict an increased risk of falling up to 32 days before the fall would occur.

The consortium includes TakingCare, Technicare, Age NI, the Public Health Agency (PHA), Big Motive, Southern Health and Social Care Trust and Ulster University.

Healthcare software platform developer Technicare is using its AI technology to learn the daily habits of older people through wearable devices. Data relating to activity levels, sleep and heart rate is added to its remote monitoring platform to establish a habit pattern.

Using predictive analytics, its algorithm can detect any changes or anomalies which could indicate an increased risk of falling.

If a risk is detected, it will trigger a response from TakingCare’s prevention team, who will use the data to detect instances where direct personal interaction with users may be required. This interaction could include wellbeing check-ins, gentle reminders or where required escalation to emergency services or registered contacts.

Brian Brown, commercial director at Technicare, said: “We’re proud to be using our cutting-edge technology and algorithms to provide the insights needed to reach an older person before they experience a fall. This in turn should reduce the need for hospital or care admissions, helping ensure people can remain at home for longer.”

According to research commissioned by TakingCare from Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing, technology-enabled care – such as that used in the Move More Live More programme – has been found to:

  • Reduce hospital admissions by 50%
  • Reduce hospital admissions due specifically to falls by 44%
  • Reduce admissions to residential care by 5.9%
  • Delay admissions to residential care by 27 months

The pilot of Move More Live More painted an equally promising picture for the solution. It revealed that intervention improved participants’ quality of life by 11% and led to a 5% decrease in their fear of falling score.

Steve Gates, managing director at TakingCare, said: “With an ageing population, it’s more important than ever to have a proactive response to falls among the elderly, ensuring they are armed with the information they need to live independently, safely, for longer.

“The pilot programme has already unveiled fantastic results, and it firmly underlines the positive role of technology when coupled with the personal touch from our Resolution Team members.”

The ageing population means that fall detection and prevention technology is becoming vital. In May, Lilli, announced a partnership with Nourish Care, with the former’s machine learning technology and Nourish’s electronic care management system used to help local authorities and care providers successfully implement digital social care records and services designed to help prevent falls.