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App based tool FallScreen+. Image: David Crisante

New app to predict falls with ’75 per cent accuracy’

Neuroscience Research Australia has launched a new app it says can predict falls in older Australians with better than 75 per cent accuracy.

The FallScreen+ app is a wellbeing assessment tool that draws on NeuRA’s vast research into the ageing space and aims to maximise the physical and psychological wellbeing of older people. The tool identifies potential issues early and helps clinicians plan ahead.

“This tool will help identify the specific needs of an individual and based on the data it collects, it will advise whether they need to be referred to clinicians or allied health professionals. For example, our trials have shown this tool can predict falls in older Australians with an accuracy of over 75 per cent,” said senior NeuRA researcher, associate professor Kim Delbaere.

In 2015–16 there was an estimated 18,746 new hip fractures in Australia – around 199 hip fractures per 100,000 population aged 45 and over.

The highest number of fractures occurs between the ages of 75 and 89. Within the first 30 days of a fracture, between 6 and 10 per cent of patients die, and of those who transition out of hospital most will never fully recover from a hip fracture.

And approximately 30 per cent of people who suffer a fall-related hip fracture die within 12 months

“FallScreen+ is unique because it screens issues early on, flags problem areas and makes recommendations for effective treatment strategies to address potential health problems,” said Delbaere.

The tool will be piloted in Mark Moran Group (MMG) facilities as part of an alliance between NeuRA and MMG, which wants to “deliver ground-breaking health and wellness innovations to help older Australians live better and healthier for longer”.

“Ageing is to be celebrated and is nothing to fear,” MMG Co-Founder Evette Moran said. “Prevention allows a continuation of quality. By making breakthroughs with NeuRA and saving one life, or potentially tens of thousands of lives, we are creating a future where older Australians will continue their interests, their passions, their health and being celebrated in their community.”

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