Randy Lilan, author of Next Avenue, believes that the prospect of aging can be reminiscent of many horrors -- A mind stolen from dementia, a body weakened by disease, and a soul shattered by social isolation. It\'s hard for most people to be afraid of falling. But in fact, falls are one of the more common and indirect risks faced by older people. The statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control are eyes Turn on alarm. Of the four Americans aged 65 or over, at least one falls once a year. Every 11 seconds, there is an older adult in the United States. S. Fall treatment in the emergency room; One person died every 19 minutes of falling. 2020, financial costs associated with falls in older AmericansS. It is expected to exceed $67 billion per year. Finding out early signs of falls, it\'s not surprising that more and more research focuses on predicting whether or not a person might fall, or even when. The goal is to be able to take action to reduce risk. Most of these efforts are around the use of emerging technologies -- From infrared depth sensors to brain imaging to virtual reality. Also on Forbes: Marjorie Skubic said: \"Technology allows you to monitor people in their homes in ways that you have not been able to do in the past,\" Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Missouri, director of the school\'s technical center for aged care and rehabilitation. She has been improving the use of sensors and motion. For more than a decade, she has used capture technology to study the elderly at home and is passionate about its potential to help people grow older. \"We found that once the sensors were placed in one place for three or four weeks, people would completely forget about them. That\'s what we want. Capture their normal activities at home. Here\'s how Skubic and other scientists use technology to improve their ability to predict falls: while Skubic\'s research focuses primarily on how sensors can help detect early signs of physical and cognitive decline, A recent study has focused on finding a more precise correlation between a person\'s walking gait and his or her likelihood of falling. Sensors are used to measure the walking speed and pace of TigerPlace residents in the retired community of Columbia, Missouri. The researchers found that there was a clear link between the speed of the slowdown and the risk of the decline. In fact, for manyterabyte- A set of size data collected over 10 years showed that people with a gait slowdown of 5 cm/second in a week had a 86% probability decline over the next three weeks. This is four times higher than people whose walking speed has not changed. The shortening of a person\'s stride was also identified as an indicator of decline in the near future, although not as obvious as the rate of decline. It is with 50. According to the study, the probability of decline in three weeks is 6%. When the sensor system detects a significant change in a person\'s gait, it alerts the caregiver so that she or he can take steps to help prevent falls. Privacy violations? But what about privacy? Don\'t people worry about recording every step of them? The key, Skubic said, is that the system only reflects everyone as a silhouette, not a clear image taken by a traditional camera. \"This is not streaming video,\" she notes . \". \"You don\'t know what someone is wearing or what their hair is made. You just got this shape, but you can get a lot of information from this shape. At first, Skubic thought that she might need to blur the outline in order to make people feel more comfortable. It turned out to be unnecessary. \"There is such an interesting relationship between perceived needs and potentially perceived privacy violations,\" she said . \". \"People say they can see that a clear outline may be easier to explain in terms of looking for something related to the risk of falling. They are very satisfied with this. Advantages of passive home observation skubic points out several advantages of the sensor Based on early warning system. First of all, it doesn\'t require people to wear or interact directly with the device. She cited a study that found that older people are less likely to be exposed to technology if they feel uncomfortable -- The data captured is probably the most helpful. Perhaps more importantly, the sensor system is able to monitor the time of the president in the home environment. \"The big difference is that we\'re looking at average income. \"Home gait speed,\" Skubic said. \"We and other researchers found that, If you\'re in the lab, someone says, \"go through the room now,\" the home gait pattern is different. People walk differently in their own homes. The study shows that sensor monitoring can change the age of the elderly, Skubic added. Another study found that residents of TigerPlace with sensors at home were able to live there. Than the control team leader without sensors for 7 years. Skubic believes that a proof of the sensor system is that she has decided to install a sensor in her elderly parent\'s home, who lives in several states in South Dakota. \"My mother is 93 years old. My father is just 96 years old. They want to stay in their own home, \"she said. \"So I put a system in it. Now, I can see from my personal experience what it feels like to be an adult child of someone with these sensors at home. I can see how it helps them. I installed it on my mother\'s birthday on January. This is my birthday present for her. \"Brain researchers at Einstein Medical School in New York have taken a different approach in using technology to predict falls: they are working on people\'s brains. Specifically, they followed a set of brain activity that was 166 high. Normal adults with an average age of 75 years when carrying out various activities- Talk while walking, then walk while walking. They found that there are many people who need the front of the brain. tasking — Recite other letters of the alphabet while walking It is more likely to decline in the next few years. Chief researcher of the study, Dr. Joseph Verghese explains that people with cognitive impairment are much more likely to decline than people with more normal cognition. The challenge is to see if there is a way to determine which of the second group is at a higher risk of falling. \"When you see them in the community, they are moving around and there are no obstacles,\" he said . \". \"You really need to stress to them to reveal the anomalies that predict falls. ”The high- People with normal functioning do slow down a bit while walking and talking, but this is very typical, Verghese says it\'s not enough to help predict falls. But their brain activity tells us a different story. \"When we measure their brain activity, they seem to be working hard to compensate and use their brain function to keep their body performing,\" Verghese notes . \". \"This is not what you can see. But you can measure it. Brain activity signals stress. More brain activity, more failure Ups\'s exam subjects are down every few months for the next four years, with researchers finding 166 of 71, more than once. Those who recorded more brain activity while walking and speaking are more likely to be in this group. In fact, every increase in brain activity increases the risk of falling by 32%. Verghese says the goal is to be able to use this method to detect whether a person has a higher risk of falling before any physical signs appear. \"Most studies are about identifying injuries that cause falls. \"There is less focus on abnormal biology or brain abnormalities that may do this,\" he said . \". \"But what if you could go back to an earlier point in time and see it as a biological syndrome that causes clinical impairments such as poor balance or worse gait and then leads to falls? \"Our idea is to catch this early,\" he said . \". Verghese said that the next phase of the study will look at the activity levels of other parts of the brain in the walk/talk test to see what role they may play in people\'s performance. Meanwhile, researchers at the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University have been exploring the potential of virtual reality to gain insight into why some people are more prone to fall. In a recent study, scientists asked people to walk on a treadmill, facing a large curved screen that showed a moving corridor. This caused them to feel out of balance. Through motion- With the capture technique, the researchers closely followed how the muscles in the subject\'s control posture and foot position were adjusted according to perceived loss of balance. Jason Franz, lead researcher, said: \"We don\'t actually cause people to fall, but this variability increases -- This is the size of the corrections people make from one step to the next. We see this as a key sign of one\'s susceptibility to balance disorders. Franz noted that visual cues are particularly important for older people to maintain balance. Young and healthy adults can rely on \"sensors\" on their feet and legs to give them a good sense of physical position. But with age, this sensitivity tends to decrease, which is why it is more difficult for older people to maintain balance while walking in the dark. \"Since older people have to rely more on vision to control balance, we use virtual reality to deceive the brain and tell people that they are falling,\" he said . \". \"Then we use this action. Capture the camera to measure the movement response of their bodies. \"By closely following the responses of different muscles to a sense of fall, scientists can develop a roadmap to detect a person\'s balance damage and the risk of future falls, Franz said. He also believes that similar methods of using virtual reality can be used to train people to improve their balance while walking. \"We think virtual reality can help detect balance damage, which may not be obvious even in clinical testing,\" he said . \". \"The key to doing this is to challenge their balance and see how their bodies react. The article was written with the support of the New American Media, the American Association of geriatric medicine and the American Retirement Association\'s press fellowship.