Frailty and falls implantable system for prediction and prevention

FFallS Predictor is an implantable monitoring device that has proven that 28% of falls in older adults are directly attributable to modifiable heart rate and rhythm changes. This project will show that an implantable system can provide real time solutions for early falls detection and prevention.


Falls are the most common reason for older adults to attend emergency departments. New mechanisms are needed to monitor early risk factors: to advance prevention and management of these conditions; and to improve healthcare and support independent living. Implantable devices are new to this market and have limited capabilities. The FFallS predictor device will monitor a wide range of factors to create a better profile of what triggers a fall.


  • Professor Rose Ann Kenny, Professor of Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin; Director of the Falls and Blackout Unit at St. James’s Hospital Dublin; Director of the Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing
  • Dr Ann Hever, R&D Manager, The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), Trinity College Dublin
  • Dr Mirko De Melis, Prinicpal Scientist, Medtronic
  • Professor Rudi Westendorp, Professor of Medicine, Center of Healthy Ageing, University of Copenhagen
  • Professor Karsten Vrangbæk, Professor of Political Science and Public Health and Director of Center for Health Economics and Policy, University of Copenhagen
The project

This project will seek to improve frailty and falls prediction by further developing an implantable monitoring device.

Each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls, mostly at home. Falls are the most preventable cause of requiring admission to care facilities. If preventive measures are not taken in the immediate future, the numbers of injuries caused by falls is projected to be 100% higher in the year 2030, with costs projected to reach over $240 billion by year 2040.

This project will mature and refine untapped capabilities (such as posture and gait assessment) of an implantable monitoring device for detection of frailty and falls risk, and compare it to standard clinical assessments. Project partners will develop clinical algorithms to help manage, treat and prevent frailty and falls. The device will be made available in the market to improve healthcare monitoring systems and improve understanding of the triggers associated with falls.

Trinity has collaborated successfully with Medtronic since 1999. Trinity runs the largest falls and syncope facility in Europe; Medtronic is the worldwide leader in implantable medical devices; the University of Copenhagen is renowned for health economics expertise.


Falls and frailty carry a significant healthcare and social care cost, and significantly impact on quality of life and independent living. By providing an improved system for monitoring early risk factors for falls and frailty, this project will advance treatment and management of these conditions, thereby preventing loss of function, improve quality of life, and supporting active ageing and independent living. Patients, their families, the healthcare system and society will benefit.

Why this is an EIT Health Project

This project is in keeping with the EIT Health Focus Area of “Improving Care Pathways” because it promises to help people who may be susceptible to falls to avoid them, thereby improving their chances of staying healthy. It is also in keeping with the Focus Area of “Bringing Care Home”, because it offers a solution for monitoring patients in their home, and it is in line with the general EIT Health mission of promoting active ageing.

Dr Ann Hever
| R&D Programme Manager | Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin