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Student designs smartwatch for older people to detect falls in the home

A student at Nottingham Trent University has designed a smartwatch that alerts predetermined contacts to a serious injury, after his grandparents suffered falls in their home.

Matt Russell Smith
Matt Russell-Smith, a product design student has designed the watch to enable older people to get help faster after they’ve had a fall.

Matt Russell-Smith, a product design student, has designed the watch to enable older people to get help faster after they’ve had a fall.

The wrist watch works by tracking information such as a person’s pulse or movement and when the watch detects a change in a person’s health, it will send information to a touch screen hub located in the home.

The hub then alerts pre-determined contacts and calls for help immediately.

Matt, 23, of Westhumble, Surrey, hopes his design – named Stopple Watch TM - will prevent elderly people experiencing the same trauma as his grandparents.

He said: “My grandpa once fell and was unable to move and he couldn’t call for help. As a result he spent an unknown period of time on the floor until he was found.”

If the person has fallen but is still able to move, they can call for help by manually pressing a button on the side of the watch or via the touchscreen hub.

They can also cancel the alert if help is no longer needed.

Matt, a student in the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, said his gran has experienced a couple of falls at home and has had difficulties getting up after they have happened.

“She is very proud about her independence and wants to deal with the situation on her own,” he said.

“So the idea of having a product which would get help for her and then check to see how bad her injuries are based on whether or not she can cancel the alert seemed like a good way to address this.”

During his research into fall detection devices, Matt said he discovered that existing products, such as emergency pendants, are often unattractive and uncomfortable, which can put people off wearing them.

Matt designed his watch with style in mind, making it more appealing to wear but still simple to use.

The watch is made from stainless steel, with a steel mesh strap and a magnetic buckle, to make it easier for people to put on and take off.

Matt said:”I hope the watch could be beneficial to people in a similar position to my grandparents.

“Falls are a huge issue for older people and they can have a big effect on the life of the person and family involved. I knew it was a problem worth tackling.”

Matt’s design is set to go on public display for Nottingham Trent University’s Art and Design Summer Show 2018.

The show will feature works by more than 1,300 graduating artists and designers and this year is one of the ways in which Nottingham Trent University is marking its 175th anniversary.

Dr Matthew Watkins, a senior lecturer in product design at Nottingham Trent University, said: “Matt has worked incredibly hard to produce a fully functioning product that can detect and alert family and carers when falls occur in the home. Reducing risk in the incidence of falls in the home and giving users, their family and carers added peace of mind.”

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    Nottingham Trent University was named University of the Year 2017 at the Times Higher Education Awards and Modern University of the Year in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. The award recognises NTU for its strong student satisfaction, quality of teaching, overall student experience and engagement with employers.

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) has been awarded the highest, gold, rating in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework for its outstanding teaching and learning.

    NTU is one of the largest UK universities with nearly 28,000 students and more than 3,500 staff across four campuses, contributing £496m to the UK economy every year. It is one of the most environmentally-friendly universities, containing some of the country’s most inspiring and efficient award-winning buildings.

    The University is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable Nottingham Trent to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is the sixth biggest recruiter of students from disadvantaged backgrounds in the country and 95.6% of the its graduates go on to employment or further education within six months of leaving.

    NTU is home to world-class research, winning The Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 - the highest national honour for a UK university. It recognised the University’s pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage, enable safer production of powdered infant formula and combat food fraud.

    With an international student population of approximately 2,600 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook.

Student designs smartwatch for older people to detect falls in the home

Published on 6 June 2018
  • Subject area: Art and design
  • Category: Press office; Research; School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment

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