Predicting falls in elderly
Aibolot Makenov

Nexcare is a product that uses motion capture technology to predict falls among elderly people. It uses accumulated data to predict the fall and let the emergency know to take action before the accident.

How might we decrease death of elderly people due to falls in South Korea.

Even though public health and disease prevention has been improving everyday the elderly people who are older than 65 are facing many challenges with a problem of fall due to reasons such as a challenge to balance or strength, illness, weakness of muscles, etc. Over the years this problem has been studied and there hasn’t been much improvement in providing the solution to the problem. In fact, from 2004 to 2013 the death rate of elderly people in the United States has been decreased from 40 to 68 per 100,000.

Korea’s rapidly aging population can expect more falls in the elderly by 2040.

Korea’s population is aging rapidly and will start to fall from 2030 after peaking at 52 million. In 2040, more than half of Koreans will be older than 52. Later rapid aging might occasionally bring to a problem of the elderly’s fall.  As more young people delay marriage and more senior citizens live independently from their children, 23.9 percent of households were composed of a single person in 2010, compared with 4.8 percent in 1980.
Looking where the design direction should focus on; statistical studies indicate that the majority of fall accidents happen indoor, mostly at homes and residential institutions.

Understanding target user.

Fictitious user has been created to understand the target user in detail by considering the background, lifestyle, pain points and goals.

Discovering insights from Research.

The post-it ideation to discover the insights which lead the design direction.

Exploring design direction.

Idea exploration of different product types ranging from safe belts to new IoT devices.

Predicting falls by analyzing data through machine learning.

"Biomechanically inspired recurrent neural network” that catalogs human movements can be used to predict human behavior. Researchers at the University of Michigan are teaching self-driving cars to recognize and predict pedestrians’ movements with greater precision than current technologies by zeroing in on their gait, body symmetry, and foot placement. The same technology might be used to predict the fall among the elderly.

Provide a safe and calm environment with a reliable product for indoor use.

Moodboard keywords were extracted from the research outcome; the elderly and family members should rely on products and trust that it’s safe and calm. Based on that, the ideation had been kicked-off.

Concept Development.

Several potential concepts made it to the CAD development stage. Design that had the best form factors by considering the technical part of the design.

Early prototypes shaping out the final form.

Prototypes starting from paper mockups, cardboard models, foam and 3D print were used in order to check and validate the design throughout every stage of the process.
Quick paper cardboard model which communicates the overall form factors of the initial design.
The refined model which has more details in terms of the overall form. It gave a fair enough impression of how the model will be.

Detecting the human movement.

Nexcare has to be placed in the most active area of the house. The product will track the user's movement to predict the fall in the following days. Predicated data will be sent out to the doctor or the responsible family member. The detecting technology uses biomechanically inspired recurrent neural network which accurately can predict the future behavior of the person.

Tracking and understanding the movement pattern.

Understanding the basic movement and the routines of the elderly in order to design a product that would smoothly fit into their lives. The patterns were taken from the research paper written in the field of architecture.

A calm experience with a minimal and clean design.

A clean and minimal design of Nexcare gives a very calm feeling at any corner of the house.

The docking station for easy installation.

Nexcare has a docking station designed for the wall. It will allow user to install the product quickly and easily. If any service should be needed for the Nexcare it can be easily deatached and used for it's purpose.

Testing and Validation of final design.

Models went through several iterations to check and test the design intent.

The design improvement.

The first cardboard model was a great design inspiration to iterate and improve the idea. Seeing the cardboard physical model in the early stage gave a big push to shape the outcome. It was a great reference to build further mockups and improve the design through the sketches.
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