Cars come with the risk of collisions and that’s why certain safety precautions are taken: the driver and passenger is supposed to be wearing seat belt while driving and then there’s the airbag that will, in case of a collision, inflate and help in protecting the victims from getting any serious damage. Senior citizens require protection as well because old age takes away a lot from a person. In fact, for old persons, a simple fall could result in injuries that could drastically change their lives. This led ActiveProtective, a company based in Pennsylvania, to come up with a wearable airbag that inflates when a person falls and protects the hip bones from taking any major damage.
Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Robert Buckman, came up with this idea while working as a trauma surgeon and noticing the number of old folks coming in with broken hips as a result of falling down. Such patients often never fully recovered from their injuries.
The gadget has to be worn like a belt and can be worn either beneath clothes or on them – whatever makes the user comfortable. 3D motion sensors incorporated into it are capable of ascertaining atypical motion signifying a fall. Upon detection, the belt uses cold gas inflator to have the airbag inflate in a slab-shape that runs down the sides of the hips. According to the company, this gadget is capable of reducing the force of impact by 90%.
As of now, the device is being tested at Operative Experience. This business based in Maryland is also owned by Buckman and is known for building human cadaver simulators used while teaching combat casualty and emergency surgery pertaining to trauma. A replica of 90-year old woman is being used for the tests.
The company has told that the results so far seem quite promising and human trials are scheduled for this year followed by commercialization by the end of 2016.