AT&T is experimenting with telehealth devices and a communications network that might reduce falls in the home. One of three people over 65 fall each year. Almost a third of these accidents require medical treatment, and 10% result in serious injury or death. Nursing homes experience a fall a day among residents.
AT&T is testing shoe insoles with built-in sensors that take gate, stride, and pace measurements as patients walk. The measurements are beamed wirelessly to a modem-like gateway box that's connected to a health-care network via the Internet. AT&T's scientists are hoping that by catching changes in a patient's walking pattern, the software can alert doctors to a problem before they take a tumble.