Welcome to the website of the Technology for Injury Prevention in Seniors (TIPS) program.

TIPS is a unique university-community partnership for developing new technologies to prevent falls and fall-related injuries in older adults. We are funded by the AGE-WELL National Centre for Excellence (NCE), and by the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) through the Emerging Teams in Mobility in Aging and Strategic Teams in Applied Injury Research programs.

Everyone experiences a fall now and then. While most falls do not cause serious injury, occasionally we are reminded of how even a simple fall from standing can be catastrophic. Indeed, falls from standing height are the most common cause of injury-related hospitalizations across the lifespan. 

Falls are especially devastating among older adults, as the cause of over 90% of hip fractures and wrist fractures, and 60% of head injuries in this population. Approximately 20% of hip fracture patients die within a year, and 50% will not return to their pre-fracture level of mobility and independence.

TIPS uses innovative approaches (such as video capture and wearable sensors) to determine the causes and circumstances of falls of older adults. We also develop and test the effectiveness of engineering interventions such as protective clothing and compliant flooring in reducing fall-related injuries.

We invite you to explore our website to learn more about this innovative program.

The above video is based on a 2009 Discovery Channel episode highlighting TIPS research on fall injury prevention.


Lab contact information: 

Injury Prevention and Mobility Laboratory 
Room K8508 
Simon Fraser University 
8888 University Drive 
Burnaby, BC, Canada 
V5A 1S6 
Telephone: 778.782.6679 
Fax: 778.782.3040

Recent News

On May 4th and 5th 2018, IPML researchers Tomomi Yamamoto, Natalie Shishov, Kai-Jing Leong and Brigitte Potvin presented their work at the Northwest Biomechanics Symposium at Western Washington University. Their work included head impact avoidance strategies during backwards falls in older adults, balance control in continuous circular perturbations, hockey head impact simulations and characterizing falls from jump elements in competitive figure skating.

Congratulations to Gabriela Pawlowski for successfully defending her Masters thesis in April 2018! Her thesis is titled Brain Vital Signs: Auditory to Visual Translation.

On April 9th 2018, IPML researchers attended the Point of Care Health Technology (PCHT) Trainee Forum event at the Kitsilano Neighbourhood House in Vancouver. Karam Elabd presented his work to seniors in the community on designing an instrumented dummy for testing injury prevention technologies related to head impacts in falls.

On April 6th 2018, Natalie Shishov, Karam Elabd, Ivy Tan and Tomomi Yamamoto from the IPML team presented their research projects at the BPK Research Day event at Simon Fraser University. Their posters and presentations were titled "Can angular momentum protect your brain? An analysis of the association between leg raise during backward falls and the risk for head impact in older adults", "Design of a falling dummy for testing fall injury prevention technology", "Determining factors that are associated with risk for falling in older adults in long-term care", and "Strategies for maintaining standing balance during continuous circular perturbations" 

Congratulations to Olivia Aguiar who was recently awarded the Master's NSERC scholarship to start off her graduate studies in our lab! Tim Chow was also awarded an undergraduate student research award(USRA) scholarship from NSERC to join the IPML team over the upcoming summer term.

SFU TIPS researchers are now publicly sharing a comprehensive set of kinematic data from body-worn sensors (accelerometers, gyros and magnetometers) acquired during laboratory experiments of falls, near-falls, and activities of daily living, to use in the development and testing of automatic fall detection sensor systems. The dataset can be downloaded here

In March 2018, AGE-WELL researchers Stephen Robinovitch and Thomas Hadjistavropoulos, along with stakeholder Gretta Lynn Ell, met in Regina to present a public lecture on “Addressing pain and injuries in long-term care through the use of advanced technologies,” as part of Regina Brain Awareness Week. The talk had over 70 attendees, roughly half of whom were older adults and care providers.

In January 2018, Vicki Komisar joined the SFU TIPS team as a post-doctoral researcher. Vicki’s PDF research on the mechanics of falls is supported by an AGE-WELL Postdoctoral Award. Vicki recently successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis on balance recovery by handrail grasping, in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at University of Toronto.

SFU TIPS is part of the UBC-based "Origins of Balance Deficits and Falls” Emerging Research Excellence Cluster. Led by Mark Carpenter, the Cluster's research aims to advance our understanding of balance control, balance deficits and falls, and provide the foundation for improved clinical screening tools and therapies.