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1 in 3 people over the age of 65 suffer from a fall every year in Ireland. Two-thirds of this group fall again within 6 months, leading to risk of hospitalisation and significant health decline. In St James’s Hospital, Dublin, Seán Sherlock T.D., Minister for Research and Innovation, launched the TRIL Clinic’s novel suite of technologies that could potentially increase accuracy in the assessment of falls risk in older people.
Minister Sherlock, speaking at the launch, reiterated how important research and innovation is for helping to address the significant economic and social implications the ageing demographics will have on our economy. A recent study by The Irish Centre for Social Gerontology showed that the cost to the economy of falls and fractures in older people is about €0.5 billion annually. “The TRIL Centre it is an excellent demonstration of research and innovation involving academic, clinical and industry partners,” he said. “It is activities like TRIL that will help position Ireland as a hub and global leader in ageing research and health technology innovation.”
The TRIL Centre is at the forefront of using mobile devices with novel sensor technology and algorithms to predict risk of falling. The Falls Risk Assessment Suite, developed within the TRIL Centre, is being introduced into the 2012 clinical assessment. The technology supports efforts to improve accuracy in assessing falls risk and mobility, resulting in more targeted interventions for those at risk of falling. The technology suite has been developed on a mobile platform using wireless sensors; this model enables sophisticated falls risk assessment to be undertaken in the home or community.
Speaking about the need to predict risk of falling, Consultant Physician and Director of the Falls and Blackout Unit at St. James’s Hospital, Professor Rose Anne Kenny, TRIL Principal Investigator for Falls Prevention and Professor of Geriatric Medicine in Trinity College Dublin said, "the EU has targeted falls prevention as one of its main priorities for health research in ageing. Falls become more common as we age and the consequences of falls, such as fractures, also increase. Unfortunately recurrent falls often result in admission to long term care. Therefore early detection of treatable conditions which cause falls prevent these serious consequences. These new technologies provide such early detection".
For further information contact Seamus Small, TRIL Centre Manager, 087-9882202
Seán Sherlock T.D., Minister for Research and Innovation, launching the TRIL Centre’s novel suite of technologies that could potentially increase accuracy in the assessment of falls risk on older people in the TRIL Clinic, St. James’s Hospital.
Seán Sherlock, Clodagh Cunningham (TRIL Clinical Research Nurse), Christine Byrne (TRIL volunteer), Katie Sheehan (TRIL Physiotherapist).
TRIL is funded by Intel, GE Healthcare and IDA Ireland. www.trilcentre.org
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