This SBIR Phase I project will determine the feasibility of translating a well-established, evidence-based falls prevention program into a low cost, easily accessed """"""""Personalized Falls Prevention Program""""""""(PFP2). The PFP2 is an interactive guided exercise program that integrates innovative motion controlled technology for delivery on a personal computer or gaming console. The death rate due to falls has increased 65% over the past decade, and the total annual cost of injurious falls is projected to be over $54 billion by 2020. Exercise programs specifically designed to improve balance and strength, decrease the rate of falls by 30% - 40%;potentially saving the health care system over $7,500 per injurious fall prevented. Unfortunately, the dissemination of these programs has been limited. Video games may provide a solution. There is unprecedented interest by older adults in playing gesture-controlled games, creating an untapped and viable market to deliver a public health intervention. Innovation: We intend to translate an established falls prevention program into a digital medium for mass dissemination. The final product will deliver a validated screen for balance impairments, deliver and progress a user through an individualized exercise program designed to improve balance, and provide feedback on performance for users and healthcare providers. The users movements will be tracked with an innovative 3D motion capture camera developed by Primesense"""""""". The PrimeSense"""""""" camera is state of the art technology that accurately identifies, recognizes, and tracks a user's physical movements. Strategy: The PFP2 will be based on the Otago Exercise Program, a series of exercises proven to reduce falls by 30%. We will convert the reliable and validated Otago Exercise program will into an interactive software application for mass distribution and home use. Focus groups of subject matter experts (older adults, caregivers, clinicians), will participate in the Iterative Design Process to insure the product developed meets the needs of the users. SMEs will provide suggestions regarding game content, goals, assessment, training, performance metrics, and mechanics. This information will be used to develop and refine the design document and to finalize a technical prototype. A basic software prototype of a vertical slice of PFP2 will be developed. The PrimeSense"""""""" camera will be used as the human interaction interface. The prototype will be presented to the SMEs and a second focus group of naive older adults will for feasibility of play. Based upon feedback about the prototype from all SMEs, the team will identify changes needed necessary to improve game mechanics and prepare for submission of Phase 2 application.

Public Health Relevance

More than 35% of older adults fall annually. Thus, falls and the resulting injuries are a serious public health concern for older adults. Exercise interventions have proven to decrease the rate of falls by 35-40%. This project will create a """"""""Personalized Falls Prevention Program"""""""" to virtually lead older adults through a series of evidence-based exercises that prevent falls. The program will be 1) delivered on a personal computer or gaming console, using a 3D motion capture camera and 2) performed in the home, senior center, or under the guidance of a clinician.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase I (R43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-RPHB-C (10))
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Joseph, Lyndon
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Blue Marble Rehabilitation, Inc.
Los Angeles
United States
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