Occupational therapists perception of using smartwatches to detect falls in older adults

Susan Brandis, Madison Denney

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issueResearchpeer-review


Introduction: There are several strategies and assistive technologies that can be used to prevent and detect falls for the older population; however, these are not fully understood. The latest advancement in fall detection technologies offers automatic falls detection and is a form of wrist-worn technology commonly referred to as a smartwatch. This research explores the potential clinical application of smartwatches to occupational therapy practice and aims to understand occupational therapists' perceptions of using smartwatches to detect falls in adults over 60.

Methods: An exploratory quantitative study using an online self-administered survey was used. There were three sections to the survey which included the following: (1) multiple choice questions to collect demographic data, (2) Likert scale questions using the Technology Acceptance Model to understand occupational therapists' perceptions and (3) open-ended questions to explore facilitators and barriers to using smartwatches to detect falls.

Results: A total of 36 participants fully complete the survey. The results showed that occupational therapists are open to prescribing smartwatches for fall detection purposes. Personal, environmental and occupational facilitators and barriers to utilising smartwatches for fall detection were identified.

Conclusion: Occupational therapists perceive smartwatches to be useful as a form of fall detection technology; however, several facilitators and barriers were identified in prescribing smartwatches to detect falls in adults over 60. Results were themed into three main categories: person, environment and occupation. The findings of this study provide key insights for occupational therapists and smartwatch manufacturers on how to increase access to smartwatch technology for falls detection and enhanced participation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-153
Number of pages1
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2023
EventOccupational Therapy Australia 30th National Conference and Exhibition - Cairns, Australia
Duration: 21 Jun 202323 Jun 2023
Conference number: 30


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