Android Emergency Alert with Fall Detection

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Presented at GDG Singapore DevFest 2013 on 12/10/2013, by Lim Seow Chiong, Senior Lecturer/Info-Communications Technology, School of Electronics & Info-Comm Technology, ITE College Central, Singapore.

With the mobile revolution, smartphone applications are being developed to provide functions previously found only in dedicated electronic devices. In this talk, the speaker will explore using the Android smartphone as an emergency alert system with fall detection capability. Comparison will be made between a dedicated medical alert system and the smartphone-based solution. The speaker will also address the technical challenges and limitation of using Android smartphone for fall detection.

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Android Emergency Alert with Fall Detection

  1. 1. Android Emergency Alert with Fall Detection GDG DevFest Singapore 12 October 2013 Lim Seow Chiong Senior Lecturer ITE College Central lim_seow_chiong@ite.edu.sg
  2. 2. Agenda • • • • Why Fall Detection? Dedicated Fall Detection Systems Smartphone‐based Fall Detection Android Personal Emergency Alert System – Design, Features, Fall detection method,  Implementation highlights. • Smartphone App Advantages & Challenges • Conclusion 2
  3. 3. 1 in 3 Elderly suffers from falls each year Rapid response & aid after fall is important 3
  4. 4. Fall Detection Systems • Require effective, reliable fall detection  principle & algorithm • Wearable systems – Monitoring body motion with body‐ worn devices with sensors like  accelerometer and/or gyroscopes. – Pattern matching/threshold‐based  method. 4
  5. 5. Wearable Medical Alert Systems • Two components: – Console (base station) connected to phone line or  Internet. – Wireless neck/wrist pendant with fall sensor. • Panic/SOS button 5
  6. 6. Medical Alert Systems • Requires  application‐specific hardware &  software • Installations required  • Limited range (indoor) • Subscription to 24‐hr help/monitoring centre • Cost 6 Source: http://www.activemedical.com.sg
  7. 7. Smartphone as Fall Detection Device? • Need for a pervasive, reliable, adaptable,  effective and cheap solution. • Smartphone is ubiquitous – Communication capabilities • Phone call, SMS – Integrated sensor hardware:  • Motion sensors: accelerometer, gravity sensor,  gyroscope • Position sensors: orientation sensor and magnetometer – Android smartphones are now more affordable. 7
  8. 8. Smartphone as Fall Detection Device? • Proliferation of Smartphone apps that provides similar  functionality to dedicated hardware devices. – Eg apps that provide GPS & location‐based solutions. • Convergence of electronic devices into smartphone  platform. • Smartphone apps are appealing: – All‐in‐one convenience – do everything with the  smartphone. – Cheaper. – Easy to download/purchase. – Familiar touch screen interface.  – Can be used  both indoors & outdoors. 8
  9. 9. Smartphone as Fall Detection Device? • Smartphone‐based fall detection systems: – iFall – PerFallD – Smart Fall  Detection – uFall – CRADAR • Detection method: Falls are characterized by  sudden acceleration change. • Experimental, proof of concept – solutions are  not comprehensive. 9
  10. 10. Personal Emergency Alert System • Project Objectives: – Create a smartphone‐based comprehensive  emergency alert system, with fall detection  capability, comparable to a dedicated device. – To be a low‐cost alternative to dedicated medical  alert systems for the needy, elderly & people with  disabilities. 10
  11. 11. Smartphone Requirements • Embedded triaxial accelerometer. • Can be comfortably carried or worn using an  elastic waistband or armband – smaller form  factor. 11
  12. 12. Features • Fall detection as well as manual alert (panic button). • Use accelerometer with adjustable fall detection  sensitivity: – Android phones are not uniform: • Different versions • Different device manufacturers • • • • • • 12 User can cancel alert  in the event of false positive. Works even when phone is on standby (power efficiency). Calls & message  (SMS) up to 5 caregivers each. Caregivers contacts taken from phone’s contact list. Speakerphone  on with maximum volume  for phone call. Uses GPS for location reporting (through SMS).
  13. 13. What is Fall? • A fall is  a sudden change of body position  (from a height) coming to rest on the ground  (after a hard impact), followed by a moment  of inactivity (subject becomes unconscious). • Focus is on a serious fall – subject is immobile  & unable to get help. 13
  14. 14. Acceleration Pattern of a Fall • Resultant/Total Acceleration: G=9.81m/s2 • Acceleration pattern of a fall: – Initial position (1G if subject is at rest) – Sudden change to free fall (0G) (Lower Threshold) – Impact on the ground (sudden surge in  acceleration, can be > 3G) (Upper Threshold) – Inactivity (1G) 14
  15. 15. Personal Emergency Alert System A Low‐Cost Medical Emergency Alert System with Fall Detection 15
  16. 16. • Panic button • Caregivers’ list 16 16
  17. 17. • Wakes up from standby • Home screen/Key guard cleared • Inactivity timer 17 17
  18. 18. • Audio warning message • Cancel Alert button 18 18
  19. 19. • Sends SMS message to caregiver(s) 19 19
  20. 20. • Calls caregivers one by one • Speakerphone on with maximum volume 20 20
  21. 21. 21 21
  22. 22. 22 22
  23. 23. Caregiver’s Phone • Receives SMS message with  location information  (latitude, longitude &  location name). 23
  24. 24. Customized SMS Client (Caregiver) SMS Notification 24 PEAS SMS Messages Google Map of Location
  25. 25. Customized SMS Client • Context menu to view and delete messages 25
  26. 26. Other Features • User can customize our app with Shared  Preferences. 26
  27. 27. Shared Preferences Customizable Options: 1. Fall detection sensitivity 2. Sensitivity when on standby 3. Inactivity period 4. User name 5. “Help Me” button ON/OFF 6. Time to cancel false alert. 7. Audio alert ON/OFF 8. Vibration alert ON/OFF 9. Send SMS ON/OFF 10.SMS message contents 11.GPS location ON/OFF 12.Voice Call ON/OFF 13.Add/Remove caregivers  through phone contact list.
  28. 28. Other Features • Code implemented as a library in  Eclipse. – Allows for code sharing between  different variants of the same app, eg app with or without fall detection. Library:               package="ite.cc.peas“ Medical Alert:   package="ite.cc.peas.medicalalert” Safety Alert :     package="ite.cc.peas.safetyalert” 28
  29. 29. Android Application Components • • • • • • • • • 29 Activities Application object Context and Options Menu Content Providers Hardware sensor  (accelerometer) Intents & Broadcast Receivers Location‐Based Services Media Player Notification • • • • • Power Management Service Shared Preferences Simple Animations Telephony & SMS
  30. 30. App Advantages Positive Impact Cheap Alternative ( Android 2.1) Android is Cool & Trendy Potential for Widespread Adoption Established Distribution Channels Configurable 30
  31. 31. Challenges • Fall detection technology is still being  perfected. – False positives : addressed with inactivity period &  cancel timer. • Lifestyle change  required  for users – Users carry their phones differently. – What about night time? In the shower (not  waterproof)? 31
  32. 32. Challenges • Incoming calls with vibration mode may  trigger alert  – Can’t control user ‘s vibration strength setting. – Fall detection is turned off when there is incoming  call. • User may  be overwhelmed with the number  of customizations. 32
  33. 33. Limitation • Smartphone accelerometer is  not optimized  for continuous sensing  – Reduced sampling rate when phone is on standby  for some models. – Certain models accelerometer becomes inactive. Smartphone Normal Sampling Rate  Standby Sampling Rate Galaxy S II (Android 2.3.6) Every 5ms Every 5ms Galaxy S III (Android 4.1.2) Every 10ms Every 10ms Nexus 7 (Android 4.3) Every 10ms Every 10ms Galaxy Ace (Android 2.3.6) Every 15ms No data Lenovo A820 (Android 4.1.2) Every 10ms Every 500ms UMI X1S (Android  4.2.1) 33 Every 20ms Every 500ms
  34. 34. Smartphone App vs Dedicated Device • Dedicated device can provide: – Better user experience – Better accuracy, quality & robustness – More ideal form factor (size & weight) – Better battery life • Each targets different consumer segment – App offers lower price & convenient access – App can exploit other alert methods, eg e‐mail,  Twitter, Google Cloud Messaging. 34
  35. 35. Conclusion • Smartphone‐based emergency alert solution: – Low‐cost alternative for people who cannot afford  dedicated medical alert solution. – Very effective if emergency is correctly triggered. – Solution for both indoor & outdoor. – But choice of smartphone is important. 35
  36. 36. References • • • • • • 36 2007, WHO Global Report on Falls Prevention in Older Age, Available from:  http://www.who.int/ageing/publications/Falls_prevention7March.pdf. Frank Sposaro, Gary TysoniFall, 2009, iFall: An Android application for fall  monitoring and response, Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering  in Medicine and Biology Society. Qiang Li,John Stankovic, Mar Hanson, Adam Barth, 2009, Accurate, Fast Fall  Detection Using Gyroscopes and Accelerometer‐Derived Posture Information, Sixth  International Workshop on Wearable and Implantable Body Sensor Networks. Jiangpeng Dai, Xiaole Bai, Zhimin Yang, Zhaohui Shen, & Dong Xuan, 2010,  “PerFallD: A pervasive fall detection system using mobile phones”, 8th IEEE  International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications Ian James Daniel Gonzales, 2011, Fall Detection Using a Smartphone, Gjøvik University College. Abalta Technologies, 2011, White Paper: Dedicated Devices Aren’t Dead, Available  from:  http://abaltatech.com/images/uploads/ABALTA_Dedicated_Devices_‐ _White_Paper_FINAL_052611.pdf.

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