Mark Klarzynski CEO and Founder
Ernie is an inspiration to so many, he is everybody’s Uncle and has played a role in so many people’s lives. Born in 1932 and still living independently in Stockport UK.
Ernie has had a couple of falls, one of them made me realise how complex falls are. Although there is a tendency to think of falls as fast and impacting, they are simply not all like this. For example, when looking at UK Accident and Emergency fall related administrations, a large percentage are due to a rapid fall in blood pressure.
In Ernie’s case he felt a moment of weakness and reactively reached to a table to help stabilise himself, in doing so he gained a small scratch. As the weakness continued, he slowly lowered himself to the floor. Because of Ernie’s immobility he was unable to rise until a neighbour found and helped him.
Cases like this are more common than we might expect and present 2 serious health challenges.
1 – The greatest risk of serious injury is not due to the fall itself, it is the time spent immobilised on the floor following a fall. Even when a fall is slow or buffered, the time spent on the floor will determine the extent of the injury.
2 – Many elderly individuals are on blood thinning medication, a small cut or graze while immobilised on the floor can have serious health risks if not responded to quickly.
As Ernie said: “It was hardly a fall, more of a weakness where I lowered myself to the floor. But being on blood thinners, the cut just kept bleeding. By the time I had help, I guess I also had an infection”
For this reason, technology depending upon noise, accelerometers or velocity tracking movement, are ineffective in isolation.
Even though Ernie has experienced two falls, as you can see from the picture, he still leaves his emergency pendant hanging on the wall.
This reinforces a recent BMJ study which showed that over 80% of those whom had remained immobilised on the floor for over 1hr following a fall, owned such an alarm, however they were simply not wearing or unable to use it.
Barriers to using alarms arose at several crucial stages: not seeing any advantage in having such a system, not developing the habit of wearing the pendant even if the system was installed, and, in the event of a fall, not activating the alarm— either as a conscious decision or as a failed attempt.
It was clear to Konsie as well as collaborating NHS research teams that an ‘ambient’, completely autonomous system which had zero dependency upon the individual had to be the starting point of a modern generation fall solution.
Konsie are passionate about establishing a modern-day fall protection platform which will make real changes to an individual’s wellbeing and the healthcare system. To do so Konsie felt that the current solutions which have not fundamentally changed for over many years, only seeing generations of incremental improvements, simply needed a metaphorical reboot to allow for new ideas and the introduction of emerging technologies and A.I.
Ernie today is part of our beta program and I am glad to say that as of yet, the only notifications sent from Ernie’s A.I. has been “All is OK”, and we hope that this continues :)