Saving your older parent's hip from fracture with a hip airbag

January 10, 2019

One of the first ideas I had while studying Physical Therapy in Italy was an Air bag that is attached to your waist that inflates once a fall is detected.
This "Active" solution may start to deal with the Fear of Fall (FOF) and the loss of independence older adults find themselves due to nasty fall on their floor.
 
I had let go of this idea as in a search I performed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office there were at least to groups that filled a patent on this idea.

Now, in the CES 2019, probably an additional company offer their air-bag hip protector solution.

(and a video from the company itself, Helite)

 


What are the shortcoming of this "1st" airbag product by HeLite?  (partial list)
From the above video you see that the inflation happens few centimeters before the impact, which bring the question, can be a scenario it doesn't open it time.

More seriously, head injury are as fatal and frequent as hip-related injury, and this air bag may increase the impact forces of the head on the floor from a sideways fall, for which this air bag was designed to react.

The presenter and another volunteer both simulate in the above  video a fall to their side, but they react with projecting further sideways, allowing the impact to spread through greater distance, and use their arms to protect the head. 
Older adults, therefore, need to learn how to fall using this air bag to increase the benefit and reduce the potential added hazard. 

I have my own thoughts on such a solution. I don't think I should write them here, LOL.


p.s.

1.  Optimization of a Pre-impact Fall Detection Algorithm and Development of Hip Protection Airbag System, an article that poped up from my Google Scholar alert for "side fall"

2. pasted an email I prepared in 2011.

looks like it was allready patented and in HK there are attempts toimplement a system, althuogh they have no patent on it.Do you think that we can add somthing, maybe other type ofimplimentation? or too late ...A Human-Airbag System for Hip Protection Using MEMS Motion Sensors-Experimental Feasibility Resultshttp://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/abs_all.jsp?arnumber=4026192&tag=1in 2009 ... http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=4806274Mobile Human Airbag System for Fall Protection Using MEMS Sensors andEmbedded SVM Classifierattached.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------patentes of others of airbags for hips (1 patent and 2 patent appliactions)http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5500952.html1- Patent: Hip inflatable protection device United States Patent 55009522- United States Patent Application 20060049950Fall-sensing systems, hip protector systems, and other protective systemshttp://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2006/0049950.htmlThis application claims benefit of U.S. provisional application No.60/601,108 filed Aug. 13, 2004 titled “Hip inflatable protection bag(Hip-bag).”3-System for protection from falls United States Patent Application 20040003455 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------somebody also made a patetnt of passive - cushions to wear on the hip :)1. Hip protection device for the elderly United States Patent 5636377http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5636377.html2. http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2004/0049827.html

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