Welcome

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

Congratulations to Dr. Yijian Yang and Dr. Kim van Schooten who were both chosen to receive a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Trainee Award in July 2016! Dr. Yang’s project will examine strategies that promote mobility and physical activity in older men in assisted living. Dr. van Schooten’s project will examine the factors that determine successful transferring (moving from sitting to standing) in older people. A description of their research proposals can be found here and here.

On July 13th and 14th 2016, TIPS researchers organized feedback fairs at the Delta View Campus of Care and the New Vista Society care homes. Researchers shared key elements of ongoing collaborative projects at these sites to the care staff and management teams of the facilities. These included fall circumstances and incidence characterization from video capture, head impacts risks, injury prevention methods (hip protectors and compliant flooring) as well as the potential of wearable sensors in tracking resident health and activity. Care staff were encouraged to provide their thoughts on the current project outcomes as well as on future avenues of research. These were valuable knowledge mobilization events for everyone involved, promoting and guiding continuing research efforts.

One of the IPML researchers, Dr. Kim van Schooten, was interviewed for an article featured in Good Times - Canada's Magazine for Successful Retirement on May 3rd 2016 describing fall and injury prevention strategies for older adults. The full article can be found here.

On June 3rd and 4th 2016, researchers in the Injury Prevention and Mobility Laboratory provided three oral presentations at the Northwest Biomechanics Seminar held at the University of British Columbia. Their talks were titled "Mapping the spatial distribution of falls by older adults in long-term care" by Chang CE., Robinovitch SN., van Schooten KS., "The effect of shoulder pad design on head impact severity during shoulder checks in ice hockey" by Virani S., Russell CM., Bruschetta M., Hua KN., Potvin BM., Cox D., Robinovitch SN., and "Classifying walking, transferring and sedentary activities in humans using an array of wearable inertial sensors: A machine learning approach" by Aziz O., Robinovitch SN., Park EJ.. Their abstracts can be found here

May 15th-18th 2016 - TIPS researchers Alex Korall, Chantelle Lachance and Kim van Schooten presented at Watch Your Step, Canada's Annual Falls Prevention Conference. They presented their work on differences in falls and injuries between very frequent and less frequent fallers, as well as the reduction of fall-related injury risk in older adults with the use of compliant flooring and hip protectors. Their conference abstracts can be found here and here.

On April 9th 2016, Dr. Stephen Robinovitch presented a talk titled "Analysis of Head Impacts in Hockey Captured on Video" at the Vancouver Hockey Analytics conference. More information on this conference and his recorded talk can be found here.

Dawn Mackey, Ph.D. led a team of TIPS researchers in publishing the study protocol for the FLIP (Flooring for Injury Prevention) trial in the April 2016 issue of the journal Injury Prevention. FLIP is our clinical trial of compliant flooring to reduce fall-related injuries. The trial started in 2013 and is ongoing until September 2017. The paper is available here.

Worker injuries in long-term care often result from the use of mechanical lifts to transfer patients. Ph.D. trainees Chantelle Lachance and Alexandra Korall and other TIPS researchers published an article on “External Hand Forces Exerted by Long-Term Care Staff to Push Floor-Based Lifts Effects of Flooring System and Resident Weight" in the March 2016 issue of the journal Human Factors, available here

Congratulations to Shane Virani who successfully defended his Master's thesis on March 22nd 2016!

On March 11, 2016, several TIPS trainees presented their research at the SFU BPK Research Day. MSc student Shane Virani provided an oral presentation on "The Effect of Shoulder Pad Design on Head Impact Severity during Shoulder Checks in Ice Hockey". Four undergraduate students working with TIPS presented posters. Cherlene E. Chang presented a poster titled “An analysis of the spatial distribution of older adults' falls in long-term care.” Jacob Karamanian presented a poster on "The Effect of Age on the Mechanics of Falls."  Megan Bruschetta presented a poster on "Development and Validation of a Tool for Analysis of Hockey Related Head Impacts Captured on Video.” Lukas Grajauskas presented a poster on “Brain Health, Physical Health, and the Risk of Dementia” based on his research with Prof. Ryan D’Arcy in Engineering Science at SFU.  

The IPML is focusing on injury prevention in athletes, as well as their grandparents! Supported by an NSERC grant on the dynamics of head collisions in ice hockey, IPML trainees Shane Virani and Megan Bruschetta presented their research at the Eleventh World Congress on Brain Injury in The Hague, Netherlands on March 2-5, 2016. Megan's talk was titled “Development and Validation of a Tool for Analysis of Hockey Related Head Impacts Captured on Video” (Megan Bruschetta, Shane Virani, Kevin Ngoc Hua & Stephen N. Robinovitch) and Shane's poster was titled “The Effect of Shoulder Pad Design on Head Impact Severity during Shoulder Checks in Ice Hockey” (Shane Virani, Colin Russell, Megan Bruschetta, Kevin Hua, Brigitte Potvin, David Cox, and Stephen Robinovitch).