This morning Vayyar Imaging, a company best known for its 3D sensor imaging technology, launched a new product called Walabot Home that can detect if a person has fallen and automatically call for help.
Walabot attaches to a wall in the user's home and is about the size of a small tablet. Users can put in their emergency contact list and if a fall is detected, the system automatically calls their contact.
The company markets itself as an alternative to a wearable. Instead the product uses low-power radio wave technology to monitor a user’s movements. It doesn’t use cameras, which helps ease privacy concerns in bathrooms.
Falls are a major health risk for older adults. especially as the population continues to age and more individuals are looking to remain in their home. According to the CDC, 3 million older adults are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries every year. The center reports that one out of five of those falls causes broken bones or a head injury.
“There is a staggering number of adults who fall in their own homes every year. Most falls happen without anybody else knowing that the event occurred,” Raviv Melamed, cofounder, CEO and chairman of Vayyar, said in a statement. “People want to feel comfortable in their homes without the burden of needing to wear a pendant or medical alert device, but they still want the security of knowing that they can get help if they need it. Walabot HOME is so effective because people can set it up and then relax, feeling secure in the knowledge it’s there just in case.”
What's the trend
Fall detection is a big space in the world of digital health, and one that several major tech players like Apple are now entering. In September the tech giant announced its Series 4 Apple Watch would include a fall detection feature.
Still others are going the contactless route. In February Kardian launched it Contactless Health Monitoring System designed to detect falls. The system uses impulse radio ultra-wideband radar technology and can scan a room a million times per second. Currently that system is only available in hospitals and senior care facilities.