25-year-old Nikhil Autar (pictured) has created a simple, low-cost solution to tackle these two serious issues in Australian hospitals and aged care.
Falls can cause serious injuries, ranging from bruises to leg or head fractures, and can often be fatal.
According to the latest data from The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, between 2014 and 2015, an estimated 111,222 people aged over 65 were hospitalised due to falls – and 85 per cent of those occurred in either the home or in aged care.
But Mr Autar discovered that hospital beds can reduce the rate of falls by 30 per cent compared with generic beds, because they help people to sit and get up.
Enter his invention: the Smart Inclining Bed – a device that sits on top of a residents’ bed and doesn’t require a frame, instead using a combination of motors and air inflation to lift a person up.
An accompanying app, ‘Centred Around You’, uses new technology to map patients’ movements, breathing and heartbeat – which can alert care staff (or loved ones) if a resident is at risk of a pressure sore, if they’ve fallen or stopped breathing.
Mr Autar has partnered his new technology with two Sydney aged care facilities under his start-up company, Get To Sleep Easy – which he eventually wants to expand to assist the ageing population in the developing world.