A couple of years ago, BellPal founder David Ziemsky’s elderly father started to become ill and wobbly. The fact that David couldn’t check in on his dad as often as he would’ve liked caused a great deal of stress. What if dad tripped and fell when no-one was around? David’s grandmother Irene actually did fall and had to spend two whole days, alone, in a bathtub. Finally David was so worried that he called the police who picked her up and rushed her to the hospital. She survived but the recovery took time.
There are millions and millions of families in the western world in the same situation.
Most people, young or old, want to be independent and not rely on others to take care of them. It’s a matter of life quality. “I wanted to allow people to monitor an elderly individual’s situation from a distance, without being overly intrusive” David says. That is why I founded BellPal to develop a hardware device with a design that looks like a normal and elegant watch.”
It would be pointless to make a device which can only sense if something has already happened. So the goal is to make a smartwatch which will alert family or other caregivers ahead of time in order to take steps to prevent an incident like a serious fall.
To make the device smart Bellpal and Imagimob has joined together to implement Imagimob’s AI-software SensorBeat into the smartwatch’s hardware. Imagimob’s motion AI software is specifically developed to understand motion and at the same time reduce battery consumption to a minimum. It is designed to work on small devices like smartwatches, so it should be a perfect match.
The first step in the project was to teach SensorBeat to understand normal behaviour patterns i.e., how a person is sitting, moving around, and walking. The second step has been to train SensorBeat to recognize motion irregularities – such as a fall. To capture the real world data that SensorBeat needed, the Bellpal-team invited healthy seniors to fall on soft mattresses while wearing Imagimob’s data capture device.
The sensor data has been analysed and various AI-patterns that scans for falls has been created. SensorBeat with these AI-patterns has now been implemented in the watch and final testing and tuning is ongoing. The time for production start is getting closer as we speak.