Researchers at the University of Qatar recently completed work on the creation of a real-time and robust human fall detection system, which incorporates Shimmer sensors as part of their overall solution. The intelligent system, which not only detects the occurrence of a fall but also the strength of a fall, can be used in remote home monitoring environments.
The project attempted to distinguish the difference between Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and when a fall took place. For the project, researchers addressed the challenges associated with this by using a time-frequency processing method, a database using ADL scenarios for comparison, and an optimum threshold method.
In addition to the techniques listed above, another part of the process also incorporated an intelligent sensor fusion and alerting system that could be used to transfer valuable information to a doctor, nurse or relative upon the detection of a fall.
Overview of the accelerometer signal processing method
The Use Of Shimmer Sensors
When asked about choosing Shimmer sensors for this project, those participating in the development of the application confirmed that Shimmer sensors showed great performance throughout the development of the code and the creation of the database. The Shimmer platform was chosen over other available embedded options because it has many useful integrated sensors and available expansion modules that can be added to the system to further enhance future iterations.
Bluetooth connectivity made it easy to connect the platform to the host computer and send acceleration and ECG data in real time. In addition to this the participants were able to charge multiple sensor units at the same time when needed.
Using Shimmer Sensors With LabVIEW
Utilizing the Shimmer LabVIEW library the research group could readily avail of the tools LabVIEW has to offer, leaving more time to focus on the development of their application code and the data being captured.
The LabVIEW system design and development environment is a powerful tool that can be used for a host of real-life applications. All of the sub VIs responsible for connecting the Shimmer sensors, managing the data acquisition and other functionality are made freely available to Shimmer users as part of the Shimmer LabVIEW library.
Those participating on the project confirmed that the LabVIEW tools available from Shimmer made the whole process much more “simple and hassle free”.
“We could concentrate more on creating the code for our project, rather than trying to figure out the connectivity of the Shimmer platform”.
Screenshot of the system’s LabVIEW interface
This project was accomplished by students at the University of Qatar and is functional today with an accuracy level of 93%. In the image above ECG signals are being analyzed alongside the accelerometer data, which provides greater context to the data when and if a fall takes place. With the addition of more sensor parameters in the future this kind of fall detection system can be further enhanced providing an even more robust home monitoring system.
To view the project poster for this application please click here
For more information about Shimmer and any of the Shimmer sensors or application development tools mentioned above contact us on [email protected]