ActiveProtective CEO, Drew Lakatos, says, “This technology has the potential to prevent the previously unpreventable.”
Need To Know
By Sharis Shahmiryan
Form meets function in this inflatable safety belt that protects senior’s hips from serious spills
This belt-like device, worn outside clothing, holds an airbag around the hips. It’s designed to prevent hip fractures which account for thousands of seniors being bedridden and dependent on caregivers every year. It will be unveiled at a Washington, D.C. medical conference next month. Eric Sugalski, principal at Boston Device Development, shares details.
The device is able to map users’ normal behavior and activities through 3-D motion sensors. Sensors within the belt can then determine if a fall is taking place. These sensors trigger the airbag deployment system which releases cold gas into the air bladders to instantly inflate an airbag skirt to cushion the fall. All of this happens within 40 milliseconds.
The challenge has been to make the prototype small and lightweight. “Any wearable garment needs to be refined from an aesthetic standpoint and needs to blend in with other clothing that a person is wearing. There’s been a lot of work involved in getting the right architecture for the product,” says Sugalski. It also has to be styled to appeal to both men and women.
As CEO Drew Lakatos says, “This technology has the potential to prevent the previously unpreventable.” While the initial focus has been on seniors, the device could also be used by motorcycle enthusiasts, equestrians, in a variety of sports, as well as high-risk occupations.