News and Events

Feb 13, 2020. Parachute is a leading non-profit organization in Canada dedicated to injury prevention across the lifespan. Parachute recently created a Seniors’ Fall Prevention Collection on their website, which includes a section on Online Courses. Parachute has included a link to the TIPS website of videos of real-life falls in older adults

December 5, 2019.   Emily Post, Vicki Komisar, Joanie Sims-Gould, Alexandra Korall, Fabio Feldman, and Steve Robinovitch worked together to evaluate a novel type of stick-on hip protector for use by older patients in acute care. Since over 90% of hip fractures in older adults result from falls, and hospital patients are especially high risk, the need for an easy-to-use solution is evident with the expectation that decreasing barriers to use will result in an increase in user compliance.  Congratulations on their recent publication "Development of a stick-on hip protector: A multiple methods study to improve hip protector design for older adults in the acute care environment", which can be viewed online from the Journal of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies Engineering

On December 2-3, 2019 members of the IPML attended the Origins of Balance Deficits and Falls Deficits Research Cluster (OBDAF) at the University of British Columbia. Undergraduate Trainee Rasaval Aujla gave a presentation titled "Upper-limb arrest strategies used by older adults to avoid head impact during forward falls". Great work, Rasaval! 

October 22-24, 2019. Members of the IPML (Steve Robinovitch, Vicki Komisar, and Hanna Oh) attended AGE-WELL's 5th annual conference in Moncton, New Brunswick to present their research. Steve presented two posters ["Wearable technology implementation and innovation to prevent fall-related hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries in older adults (AWCAT-2019-143)" and "Preventing hip fractures in older adults with wearable hip protectors: how AGE-WELL WP5.2 research led to improved evidence on clinical effectiveness, and CSA standards for hip protectors"], Vicki participated in the Science Slam with a talk titled "Rise and (don't) fall: Ecological determinants of the risk of falls during sit-to-stand transfers in older adults living in long-term care" and Hanna participated in the Drinks and Demos event, where she presented her work on protective head gear for older adults. AWCAT-2019-143 team member Alexandra Korall also attended the conference and gave a presentation titled "A systematic approach to select theories, models and frameworks to underpin the study of implementing hip protectors in long-term care".

On September 20, 2019, the IPML's Dr. Vicki Komisar appeared in the Globe and Mail for her work on reducing the risk of falls and minimizing their consequences. Check it out here!

Congratulations to Alex Korall and team members who successfully published a paper on the "Effectiveness of Hip Protectors to Reduce Risk for Hip Fracture from Falls in Long-Term Care". This work is a key publication from Alex's PhD work in the IPML. The article is available from The Journal of the American Directors Association. August 30, 2019. 

Congratulations Hanna Oh for receiving an AGE-WELL Graduate and Postdoctoral 2019 award to pursue her work on "Developing and evaluating wearable devices to prevent fall-related brain injury in older adults".

 

Between July 31st and August 4th 2019, members of the IPML attended the Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics 2019 (held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics) in Calgary.

Olivia Aguiar gave a presentation on “Situational factors associated with the frequency and severity of head impacts in varsity ice hockey”, and was selected as the recipient for the Journal of Biomechanics Award from the American Society of Biomechanics. Congratulations, Olivia!

Karam Elabd presented a poster titled “Effect of torso curvature and hip stiffness on head impact severity during backward falls with a falling dummy”.  Steve Robinovitch attended as an invited speaker and presemted on "Preventing falls and injuries in older adults through biomechanics". 

 

July 22, 2019; Researchers from AGE-WELL’S Work Project 5.2 team have worked with the Canadian Standards Association to publish a standard on hip protector testing and labelling. The standard will provide important guidance for market regulation and consumer selection of products. 

From June 30th to July 4th, 2019, Natalie Shishov, Vicki Komisar, Yijian Yang, and Steve Robinovitch travelled to Edinburgh, Scotland, to participate in the ISPGR World Congress 2019. Natalie presented a poster titled “Kinematic analysis of videos of real-life falls in older adults using Kinovea software” and Vicki presented a poster on the “Effect of holding and grasping objects on risk for head impact during falls in older adults”. Steve took part in a panel discussion on data analytics in real-life fall situations. 

June 2019; Congratulations Brigitte Potvin, Olivia Aguiar, Vicki Komisar, Amerdeep Sidhu, Karam Elabd, and Steve Robinovitch for their successful publication of “A comparison of the magnitude and duration of linear and rotational head accelerations generated during hand-, elbow-, and shoulder-to-head checks delivered by hockey players”. The article is available online through the Journal of Biomechanics, 91 (25), 43-50.

 

June 2019; “The Flooring for Injury Prevention (FLIP) Study of compliant flooring for the prevention of fall-related injuries in long-term care: A randomized trial” has been published! This study represents a collaborative effort between Fraser Health Authority, the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, New Visa Society Care Home, the University of Waterloo, and Simon Fraser University. It is a four-year, randomized controlled trial of compliant flooring for reducing injuries in older adults in long-term care compared to a plywood sublayer.  The article is available online through PLOS Medicine.

On February 17th 2019, CBC's The National showcased the IPML's research on falls and injury prevention during their segment about fall risks in seniors. Click here for the article and video.

A 7 minute interview with Dr. Robinovitch on CBC’s Radio Canada International is available here.

In September 2018, the IPML began sharing a unique collection of 105 videos and related information from falls in two long term care facilities in the Vancouver area on Databrary, an NYU based data sharing network. Interested members can request join the network and gain access to this collection for their research and education purposes. 

On October 18th 2018, IPML team members Ivy Tan and Ada Dojnov presented their research at the Canadian Association of Gerontology conference with two posters, "Determining factors that are associated with risk for falling in older adults in long-term care" and "The Associations between Fall Characteristics and Injury Patterns among Older Adults in Long-Term Care". Dr. Yijian Yang also had a podium presentation titled "Effects of a Physical Activity Program on Strength and Mobility of Older Adults in Assisted Living". The conference website can be found here.

On November 5th 2018, IPML post-doctoral fellow Dr. Yijian Yang presented his work at the World Safety Conference 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand titled "Biomechanical Determinants of Hip Fracture in Older Adults: Evidence from Video Capture of Falls in Long-term Care". The conference website can be found here.

In November 2018, IPML research by Yang et al. on sex differences in older adult fall characteristics was awarded the Gold Award at the Innovative Research on Aging Awards from the Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging. Click here for the article.

Between October 16th and 18th 2018, IPML researchers presented their work at the Age-Well annual conference in Vancouver. During the Drinks and Demos event, Dr. Robinovitch talked about Databrary and a new set of fall videos that we have recently made available to researchers. Karam Elabd displayed his backwards falling dummy project at the event and was runner up for best demo of the evening! Karam Elabd, Natalie Shishov and Dr. Vicki Komisar presented their research during the Science Slam session and Vicki was voted best presenter. Yijian Yang, on behalf of Aleksandra Dojnov, talked about the relation between the circumstances of falls and reported injuries during the scientific talk session. 

From August 14-17, 2018, IPML researchers attended the 20th Biennial Meeting of the Canadian Society for Biomechanics in Halifax. Ph.D. student Natalie Shishov provided a podium presentation on her study "An analysis of the association between leg raise and head impact during backward falls in older adults.” Stephen Robinovitch presented a poster from undergraduate trainee Kai-Jing Leong’s study on "Biomechanics of falls from jump elements in competitive figure skaters in practice and competition settings”.

On July 31st 2018, IPML Master's student Karam Elabd received the AGE-WELL Graduate Student Award in Technology and Aging to support his research. Congratulations!

In July 2018, IPML researchers presented their work on the dynamics of collisions in ice hockey at the World Congress of Biomechanics in Dublin, Ireland. Their posters were titled "Comparison of peak head accelerations between hand-, elbow- and shoulder-to-head checks delivered by hockey players" and "Effective mass and stiffness of the body during shoulder-to-head impacts".

In May 2018, IPML researchers Yijian Yang, Kim van Schooten, Bobbi Symes, Joanie Sims-Gould, Heather McKay, Pet-Ming Leung, Fabio Feldman and Stephen Robinovitch published a report for the BC Care Providers Association(BCCPA). The work was supported by a MITACS grant, the BCCPA, the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, the British Columbia Therapeutic Recreation Association, the Ontario Long Term Care Association, the Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association, the Alberta Continuing Care Association and the Canadian Association for Long Term Care. The report is titled "Recreation Therapy to Promote Mobility Among Older Adults in Long Term Care" and can be viewed here.

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.

On November 10th 2017, IPML researchers Stephen Rovinovitch, Yijian Yang, Olivia Aguiar, Monina Catotal and Brigitte Potvin led a 60 minute oral session at the Fraser Health Patient Experience Conference, titled "From the Bench to the Clinical Environment: New Directions in Fall and Injury Prevention.” The talk covered video capture of how falls occur in long term care, the development of new exercise programs for seniors in assisted living focusing on upper limb strength, and injury prevention through compliant flooring and hip protectors. Also, IPML trainee Chantel Galang presented her work titled "Effect of Age on Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability during Activities of Daily Living" during the poster session.

On October 19-21 2017, Yijian Yang from the IPML presented his research on “Sex difference on the circumstances of falls” at the Canadian Association on Gerontology (CAG) conference in Winnipeg. IPML trainee Chantel Galang's work was also featured in the poster session with her research titled "Effect of Age on Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability during Activities of Daily Living". Recent PhD graduate of the lab, Alex Korall (now a postdoctoral at U Manitoba), won the award for best poster in the doctoral and post-doctoral category for her PhD work titled “The effectiveness of hip protectors to reduce risk of hip fracture in residents of 14 long-term care homes.” Congrats Alex! Click here to see their posters (AlexChantel).

On October 17-19th 2017, IPML researchers Stephen Robinovitch, Bobbi Symes, Brigitte Potvin and Karam Elabd participated in the AGE-WELL conference in Winnipeg showcasing their work on analyzing the circumstances of falls in older adults, hip protector design and compliant flooring during the poster session, scientific talks, and the “Drinks and Demos” event. Click here for highlights.

This summer two new graduate students and an exchange student from Japan joined the IPML team - Natalie Shishov, PhD candidate in Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, Karam Elabd, MASc candidate in Engineering Science and Tomomi Yamamoto, MASc student in Mechanical Engineering at Tottori University in Japan. Welcome to the lab!

In June 2017, TIPS researchers Andreas Ejupi, Omar Aziz, Yijian Yang, Kim van Schooten and Stephen Robinovitch presented their various projects titled "Similarity of repeated falls in older people: do past falls predict the circumstances of future events?", "Successful landing during a fall: Video evidence of the strategies used by older adults in long-term care to avoid head impact during real-life falls", "Evidence from Video Capture of the Characteristics of Falls Leading to Hip Fracture in Older Adults in Long-Term Care" and "Digging into data: What sensor signals from from real-world falls can tell us." at the International Society of Posture and Gait Research (ISPGR) World Congress in Florida, USA. 

In May 2017, TIPS researchers Yijian Yang and Kim van Schooten presented their work on the role of recreation therapy programs on the mobility of older adults in long-term care at the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) 40th annual conference in Whistler, BC. The BCCPA represents many providers of community care for seniors in the province. More details on the BCCPA and their conference can be found here.

On June 6, 2017, Mosaic published an article on falls featuring TIPS. Mosaic is an online publication on the science of life, produced by the Wellcome Trust, a UK-based charitable organization that funds over £5 billion in health research annually. TIPS director Stephen Robinovitch was interviewed in Mosaic’s feature story, ‘How to fall to your death and live to tell the tale’ by Neil Sternberg, published June 6, 2017. See the story here. Mosaic also produced a short video to accompany the story with some interesting statistics and footage from SFU-TIPS. See the video here.

The IPML hosted Point of Care Health Technologies (PCHT) Research Forum on May 29th 2017. The Point of Care Health Technologies (PCHT) Research Team is an interdisciplinary group of SFU researchers and trainees from Mechatronics, Engineering Science, Computing Science, Gerontology, and Kinesiology. As part of the monthly PHCT Research Forum series, on May 29, 2017, the IPML hosted oral presentations and a lab tour highlighting our work on fall prevention in seniors and concussion prevention in ice hockey. Attendees observed the IPML’s “Slipitron" perturbation platform, the “Dwayne" checking dummy, and the hip impact simulator.

On May 26th 2017, TIPS researchers participated in Age-Well's Hacking Health National Ideathon in Vancouver, an event bringing together researchers, business people and community members to focus on developing new technologies promoting and supporting healthy aging. More information on the event and design competition can be found here and here

IPML hockey concussion research in the news! On April 2nd 2017, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) ran a web story focusing on IPML research showing that head impact severity during shoulder-to-head impacts in ice hockey, and the related risk for concussion,  is decreased by adding an external layer of soft padding to shoulder pads. The article can be viewed here.

IPML researchers at BPK Research Day. On March 31st 2017, IPML undergraduate researchers (Kai-Jing Leong, Chantel Galang, Tim Lui, Olivia Aguiar, Amerdeep Sidhu) presented posters describing their projects at the SFU annual BPK Research Day. Their posters can be found here.

On March 30th 2017, TIPS researchers joined fellow Age-Well members at the Age-Well Roadshow, an afternoon of sessions discussing how the Age-Well NCE Network is addressing key challenges faced by seniors through innovative technology.

IPML at BCTech. On March 14-15, 2017, IPML researchers (Brigitte Potvin and Andreas Ejupi) attended the BCTech Summit in Vancouver to showcase their work on the mechanisms and prevention of concussions in ice hockey, including demonstrations of our “Dwayne” body-checking dummy and wearable sensors for head impact detection. The Summit attracted over 5000 people in various fields of technology and research throughout BC. More details can be found here and here.

Congratulations to Alexandra Korall who successfully defended her doctoral thesis on January 30th 2017!

On September 30, 2016, the Flooring for Injury Prevention (FLIP) Research Team (led by Prof. Dawn Mackey and PhD candidate Chantelle Lachance) hosted a 1-day Stakeholder Symposium at Fraser Health Authority headquarters (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada). Experts in health management and interior design from government agencies and academia (including IPML members Stephen Robinovitch, Ming Leung, Alex Korall, and Bobbi Symes) reviewed and discussed current evidence on compliant flooring for fall injury prevention, and directions for future research and knowledge dissemination.

On Oct 18-20, 2016, TIPS researchers Stephen Robinovitch, Fabio Feldman, Yijian Yang, Andreas Ejupi, Chantelle Lachance and Kim van Schooten presented their research at the annual conference of the AGE-WELL NCE network. Their presentations focused on video analysis of the circumstances of falls in older adults, compliant flooring and stick-on hip protectors to prevent fall-related injuries, and wearable sensors to assess mobility and fall risk in older adults.

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).

Congratulations to Emily O'Hearn for her successful Master's thesis defense on Tuesday, February 16th! Great job! 

Shane Virani, an IPML trainee, was interviewed by Clarence Lam of enScholar in December 2015 about his academic career, research interests and advice for future students considering graduate studies. His interview can be found here. Shane has been studying concussion injuries in ice hockey and the potential of shoulder pad design to attenuate head impact forces.

In May 2015, the Burnaby Hospital Foundation proudly partnered with Simon Fraser University, by providing a grant of $50,000 to support the Fall and Injury Prevention in Seniors Program.
The project supported research and education by supporting five students working in the Injury Prevention and Mobility Lab (IPML), under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Robinovitch, a leader in the field of injury prevention and mobility biomechanics.
Each one of the five students was hired as part of the SFU Co-op Program for an 8 month Research Assistant position. This opportunity provides students with a unique opportunity for hands-on, experiential learning. Here is what they had to say about their time in the IPML: Report to the Burnaby Hospital Foundation

December 30th, 2015 - The IPML lab was featured in Burnabynow, showcasing research on compliant flooring to reduce injuries related to falls. This project is led by Dr. Robinovitch and Dr. Dawn Mackey from SFU as well as Fabio Feldman from the Fraser Health Authority. Current work has these flooring materials installed in multiple units at the New Vista Care Home in Burnaby.  

November 9th, 2015- Congratulations to TIPS researchers Yijian Yang, Kim van Schooten, Heather McKay, Joanie Sims-Gould and Stephen Robinovitch for successfully obtaining a Mitacs Accelerate grant for the development of evidence-informed guidelines for recreational programs to enhance mobility of older adults in long-term care. Yijian and Kim will work closely with the BC Care Providers Association and BC Therapeutic Recreation Association to survey evidence of the effectiveness of recreational therapy programs in residential care and will disseminate this information through a therapy guide and decision making tool.

On October 22 and 23 2015, TIPS researchers attended the first AGE-WELL NCE Conference. Researchers Omar Aziz, Chantelle Lachance, Yijian Yang and Kim van Schooten presented a poster on TIPS’ work within AGE-WELL and Kim provided a one-minute research pitch about our work on technologies to predict, prevent and detect falls.

September 21, 2015 – Emily O’Hearn, a Master’s degree candidate, held a “feedback fair” at Surrey Memorial Hospital, seeking opinions from 43 care providers on the design of a “stick-on” hip protector. The fair elicited feedback on the stick-on hip protector prototype design (probing opinions on the colour, shape, size, thickness and stiffness). Two stick-on prototypes were available for participants to manipulate and inspect during the fair. Participants saw good potential in the design’s features and enjoyed the overall experience.

In July 2015, TIPS received a grant of $50,000 from the Burnaby Hospital Foundation, which will be used to support student trainees who will conduct research of the design and application of technology to prevent injuries and improve the lives of older adults. Students are working on novel compliant floor designs, analysis of falls captured with video networks and wearable sensors, and development of a stick-on hip protector older patients in the acute care environment. We are extremely grateful to the Burnaby Hospital Foundation for their support of TIPS research trainees!

In April 2015, TIPS received a grant from AGE-WELL NCE Inc., a national research network supporting research, networking, commercialization, knowledge mobilization and capacity building activities in technology and aging to improve the quality of life of Canadians and contribute to the economic impact of Canada. AGE-WELL is a member of the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE), a Government of Canada program that funds partnerships between universities, industry, government and not-for-profit organizations. We are very excited to join AGE-WELL, and look forward to the first annual AGE-WELL meeting on October 22-23, 2015.

In the July 1, 2015 issue of JAMDA (Journal of the American Medical Director’s Association), Yijian Yang’s article Agreement Between Video Footage and Fall Incident Reports on the Circumstances of Falls in Long-Term Care was featured as a “Special Original Article.” This allows free public download of the article and related videos. See that article at: http://www.jamda.com/article/S1525-8610(14)00798-1/fulltext

31/03/2015 - Congratulations to TIPS trainee Dr. Omar Aziz for the successful defense of his PhD thesis Design and validation of a fall event detection system based on wearable sensors: A machine learning approach!

30/03/2015 - Visiting professor Nigel Lovell, Scientia Professor at the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, University of New South Wales (UNSW) working in the areas of bionics, biomonitoring and physiological modelling, gave an intriguing presentation on his research and development Towards Next Generation Bionic Interfaces. Professor Lovell was visiting to act as external examiner for the PhD defense of TIPS trainee Omar Aziz

27/03/2015 - TIPS investigators and students attended the SFU Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology Research Day 2015, with a variety of posters presented by TIPS trainees and an oral presentation by TIPS trainee Chantelle Lachance.

During the EU Falls Festival March 24-25th in Stuttgart, Germany, Stephen Robinovitch delivered a keynote presentation in a session on Falls Detection and Description: How We Monitor and What Can We Learn?, and TIPS trainee Alex Korall presented on the Characteristics of Falls Captured on Video in Long Term Care.

24/03/2015 - Congratulations to TIPS trainee Dr. Yijian Yang for the successful defense of his PhD thesis Video Analysis of the Circumstances of Falls in Long Term Care! TIPS members and others were also treated to an informative overview of the evidence of fall prevention in older adults by Yijian's external examiner, Dr. Laurence Rubenstein, MD, MPH, FACP, Professor and Chairman of the Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatric Medicine, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.

01/03/2015 - A paper by TIPS researchers Alexandra Korall, Fabio Feldman, Vicky Scott, Pet-Ming Leung and other collaborators, titled Facilitators of and Barriers to Hip Protector Acceptance and Adherence in Long-term Care Facilities: A Systematic Review has been published in The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (JAMDA). The paper was featured in a highlight on the JAMDA homepage, and is available online at doi:10.1016/j.jamda.2014.12.004. Congratulations Korall et al.!

07/02/2015 - A paper by TIPS researchers Yijian Yang, Fabio Feldman, Pet Ming Leung, Vicky Scott, and Stephen N. Robinovitch, on Agreement Between Video Footage and Fall Incident Reports on the Circumstances of Falls in Long-Term Care has been published in The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (JAMDA). The paper is available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jamda.2014.12.003. Congratulations Yang et al.!

02/06/2014 - A paper by TIPS researchers Omar Aziz, Colin Russell, Edward Park, and Stephen Robinovitch onThe Effect of Window Size and Lead Time on Pre-Impact Fall Detection Accuracy Using Support Vector Machine Analysis of Waist Mounted Inertial Sensor Data has been accepted for publication. The paper will be presented at the 36th Annual International IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Conference (EMBC’14) August 26-30, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Congratulations Omar et al.!

TIPS trainees and investigators recently made a strong showing at the Watch Your Step 2014 National Fall Prevention Conference May 27-28, 2014 in Toronto, with a keynote presentation by principal investigator Stephen Robinovitch, presentations by trainees Alexandra Korall, Yijian Yang, Tyler Weaver and Emily O'Hearn, and a dedicated Hip Protector Symposium: Understanding the Factors that Influence Clinical Effectiveness. Well done, team!

15/05/2014 - TIPS trainee Alexandra Korall recently won a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Doctoral Research Award - Priority Announcement: Knowledge Translation, for her project application on Care Provider Commitment to Wearable Hip Protectors in Long-Term Care. Congratulations Alex!

On March 28th, 2014 TIPS investigators and students attended the SFU Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology Research Day 2014. Invited speaker Dr. Vicky Scott gave an engaging talk on Knowledge Translation, and several TIPS students presented posters at the event. Congratulations to Shane Virani for winning the People's Choice MSc Poster Presentation award!

On February 11th, 2014 the IPML hosted a "Lunch & Learn" session for visiting researchers from the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility. The event included lab demonstrations within the IPML, and featured a seminar by invited clinician and scholar Dr. Ian Cameron from University of Sydney titled Frailty, falls and fractures, cognitive impairment, rehabilitation and hip protectors -- where are the links?. The afternoon was organized by the CHHM trainee committee and was a great opportunity for colleagues from SFU and UBC to gather and find out more about each other's related research.

15/10/2013 - A TIPS research article published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), titled "Prevalence of and factors associated with head impact during falls in older adults in long-term care," received a wide variety of media coverage. A Canadian Press article was syndicated nationally by newsmedia including The Globe and Mail, the National PostThe Vancouver SunThe Calgary HeraldThe Penticton Herald, and The Prince George Citizen, while US and international online coverage appeared in U.S. News & World Report,Science World ReportTop NewsMedical News TodayCounsel & Heal, and Medical Xpress.

On October 7th, 2013 a TIPS research article,"Prevalence of and factors associated with head impact during falls in older adults in long-term care," was published in CMAJ, the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The study analyzed 227 falls among 133 residents of two local long-term care facilities, and found that head impact was very common, being observed in 37% of falls. Head impact was also found to be more associated with forward initial fall direction as compared to backwards or sideways, and while hand impact was observed in 74% of falls that did not have a significant effect on the probability of head impact. The research was conducted by lead investigator Stephen Robinovitch and student co-authors Rebecca Schonnop and Yijian Yang, and can be viewed online here.

TIPS research and comments from lead investigator Stephen Robinovitch were mentioned in a September 23rd, 2013 article in The Wall Street Journal, From Athletes to the Elderly: The Science of Trips and Falls. The article describes current research by various labs in this area, and can be viewed online here.

TIPS collaborator Victorien Thiaux presented two posters (including results from experiments done while visiting the IPML) during the 37th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics in Omaha, NE, Sep 4-7th 2013. The poster titles were Comparison of the kinematics of the threshold of balance recovery of two postural perturbations: lean release and surface translation and Modeling the lean release and surface translation perturbations with an inverted pendulum on a cart. Victorien will be defending his Master's thesis in January, 2014.

On September 5th, 2013 Joseph Choi successfully defended his Ph.D thesis on the Biomechanics of falls and hip fractures in older adults. Congratulations Joseph!

The August 2013 issue of International Innovation: Healthcare features a 3-page summary of TIPS research and lead investigator Stephen Robinovitch. Download it here.

International Innovation, published by Research Media, is the leading global dissemination resource for the wider scientific, technology and research communities, dedicated to disseminating the latest science, research and technological innovations on a global level. More information and a complimentary subscription offer to the publication can be found at: www.researchmedia.eu

On August 12th, 2013 Priyanka Deshmukh successfully defended her M.A.Sc. thesis, Effect of Product Design Characteristics on Biomechanical Performance and User Preferences in the Selection of Wearable Hip Protectors. Congratulations Priyanka! The thesis is available online here.

28/08/2013 - The Indian Health Service of the US Department of Health and Human Services recently published a special Fall Injury Prevention issue of their IHS Primary Care Provider publication, which features an article by TIPS co-investigator Vicky Scott titled Fall Prevention for Primary Care Providers: A Model Program from British Columbia

Many members of the TIPS team attended and presented at the 20th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG 2013) during June 23rd-27th, 2013 in Seoul, Korea, and the conference also included a symposium session featuring TIPS research on Measuring and Translating the Mechanisms of Falls in Older Adults in Long-term Care Through Video Capture. Presenters at the conference included TIPS principal investigator Stephen Robinovitch, visiting Professor and collaborator Aleksandra Zecevic, and trainees Joseph Choi, Ryan Woolrych, Chantelle Lachance, and Brett Shaw.

TIPS principal investigator Stephen Robinovitch presented a keynote talk and trainee Yijian Yang also gave a presentation at the 2nd Joint World Congress of ISPGR and Gait and Mental Function during June 22nd-26th, 2013 in Akita, Japan.

On June 3rd, 2013 TIPS trainee Brett Shaw successfully defended his Master's thesis on Cardiovascular responses to orthostasis: methods, assessments, and their association with falls in older adults in long-term care. Congratulations, Brett!

A paper by TIPS researchers Yijian Yang, Rebecca Schonnop, Fabio Feldman and Stephen Robinovitch,Development and validation of a questionnaire for analyzing real-life falls in long-term care captured on video, was published in the journal BMC Geriatrics on May 1st, 2013 and is featured in the Editor's picks! The article is currently available online as a provisional PDF while the fully formatted versions are in production.

07/03/2013 - The Canadian Medical Association recently selected the TIPS article published in The Lancet, Video capture of the circumstances of falls in elderly people residing in long-term care: an observational study, as a daily feature in their InfoPOEM newsletter, distributed to all Medical Doctors across Canada. The newsletter, titled Incorrect weight-shifting most common cause of falls in long-term care, features a summary of the study's main findings and the bottom line message that the two most frequent causes of long-term care facility resident falls are incorrect weight-shifting (41% of falls observed) and then tripping (21%). Furthermore, the newsletter highlighted that "the paper includes a nice description of factors related to falls, illustrative examples from videos, and a link to online videos".

22/02/2013 - A new educational cartoon on hip protectors produced with the aid of TIPS expertise has been produced and released by Fabio Feldman and the Fraser Health Authority. The cartoon portrays typical scenarios involving hip protectors and residents of long term care facilities, and conveys a wealth of useful information in a very accessible format. The cartoon is available on Youtube -- help spread the word! More information and resources on hip protectors is available at www.agingisacontactsport.com.

21/02/2013 - The recent webinar presented by TIPS investigators and collaborators, "Hip Protectors: How to make them work in your facility.", was a success with over 650 participants and a wide range of questions for the presenters. The presentation video is now archived for viewing online at any time, and can be viewed here.

23/01/2013 - Many TIPS trainees and investigators recently attended the SFU Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology Research Day 2013. The event was a great success featuring many informative oral and poster presentations and a chance to see what others in the department are working on. Congratulations to TIPS trainees Brett Shaw for winning the best Master's level poster prize and Yijian Yang for being selected to give an oral presentation at the event!

11/01/2013 - Upcoming free webinar -- "Hip Protectors: How to make them work in your facility." Administrators and health professionals associated with long-term care facilities are invited to view an informative webinar on how hip protectors can best be used to improve health outcomes for residents in long-term care facilities.

Date: Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PDT

Click here for more information or to register for the webinar, or contact Dr. Fabio Feldman at fabio.feldman@fraserhealth.ca for further questions.

11/12/2012 - Dr. Stephen Robinovotich was recently interviewed by daSILVA Architects, a firm with a background and continued interest in Health Facility Architecture and Planning. The interview is available on the daSILVA website. Also featured on the same page is an interview with Al Shelley, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for SATECH, whose SmartCells® compliant flooring is being used in a current TIPS clinical trial to assess efficacy in preventing injuries due to falls in long term care facilities.

19/10/2012 - The new TIPS study published in The LancetVideo capture of the circumstances of falls in elderly people residing in long-term care: an observational study, has received media coverage by CTV, CBC (TV clip here), The Globe and Mail, OMNI News Mandarin and Fairchild TV. A radio clip broadcast on CBC Radio World Report (TIPS research discussed from 7m:38s to 9m:35s of the 10m clip).

On October 17, 2012, TIPS researchers published an article in the top-ranked medical journal The Lancet, titled “Video capture of the circumstances of falls in elderly people residing in long-term care: an observational study.” The study describes the first comprehensive evidence on the causes of imbalance, and the activities leading to falls, based on video capture and analysis of 227 real-life falls experienced by 130 residents in two long-term care facilities in the Fraser Health Authority. The lead authors on the 8-page article are Stephen Robinovitch, PhD and Fabio Feldman, PhD. Co-authors include TIPS trainees Yijian Yang, MD, Ming Leung, PT, MSc and Rebecca Schonnop, BSc, as well as TIPS/ CHHM researcher Joanie Sims-Gould, PhD, and SFU statistician Marie Loughin, MSc. The article, along with five sample videos and snapshot images of falls, can be found at ScienceDirect. A complete final draft of the manuscript, including tables, figures, and videos can also be found here

04/09/2012 - The July/August issue of InfoLink, the newsletter of the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, recently featured an article by TIPS investigators about Flooring for Injury Prevention. The article mentions how the reduced stiffness of compliant flooring can reduce impact forces and help reduce the chance of injury when seniors fall, and highlights the upcoming Flooring for Injury Prevention Trial (FLIP) project.

04/07/2012 - A TIPS project, the Flooring for Injury Prevention Trial (FLIP), has recently been registered on the database website ClinicalTrials.gov. FLIP is a clinical trial that will evaluate the efficacy of novel compliant flooring in reducing injuries due to falls in a long-term care facility, determine the cost effectiveness of this intervention, and assess perceptions about compliant flooring among staff, residents, and families.

Dr. Stephen Robinovitch, Yijian Yang, and Rebecca Schonnop recently attended the 1st Joint World Congress of ISPGR (International Society for Posture & Gait Research) and Gait & Mental Function in Trondheim, Norway on June 24-28, 2012. Yijian gave a presentation on Development and Validation of a Questionnaire for Analyzing Real Falls Captured by Video in Long-Term Care (LTC) Facilities, Rebecca presented her poster onBiomechanical factors influencing probability for head impact during falls in older adults: analysis of video footage of real-life falls in long-term care, and Dr. Robinovitch presented on Real life falls captured on video as well as giving a presentation on Thiago Sarraf's work titled Muscular Effort in Maintaining Balance by Handrail Grasping: Implications for the Design of Public Transportation Vehicles

SFU hosted the 17th Biennial Meeting of the Canadian Society of Biomechanics/Societe Canadienne de Biomechanique (CSB/SBC) on June 6-9, 2012. The meeting featured scientific sessions, public forums and lectures and included tours of biomechanics labs at SFU including the Injury Prevention and Mobility Lab. All IPML staff and students participated in the conference as presenters or volunteers, and the meeting was a great experience all around! Scientific abstracts from the meeting can be seen here.

The Tuesday, March 20th edition of the Vancouver Sun features an article, New tech helps aging workers bounce back, about compliant flooring and aging, including video and comments of TIPS investigator Fabio Feldman. The article is available to read on the Vancouver Sun website.

22/02/2012 - The Winter 2012 edition of the newsletter of the Seniors’ Health Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, Age In Motion, includes a feature article about the TIPS research program written by Principal Investigator Prof. Stephen Robinovitch. Click here to view the newsletter in PDF format.

On November 23, 2011, Thiago Sarraf successfully defended his M.Sc. thesis on the topic of Biomechanics of Balance Recovery by Handrail Grasping. His supervisory committee consisted of Prof. Stephen Robinovitch (Senior Supervisor) and Prof. Dan Marigold (Co-Supervisor). The external examiner was Prof. Mark Carpenter from the School of Kinesiology of the University of British Columbia.

28/10/2011 - The Globe and Mail featured an article, Innovations could drastically reduce seniors’ fall-related injuries, on TIPS research into hip protectors and compliant flooring. The article includes comments from investigators Stephen Robinovitch and Fabio Feldman and can be seen on the Globe and Mail website.

Congratulations to Ph.D. student Joseph Choi for winning the Best Poster Award at the Ph.D. level in the 3rd Annual BPK Research Day, for his study Effect of muscle forces and knee boundary conditions on hip impact forces during falls. This event took place on Sept 29, 2011 on the Burnaby campus of Simon Fraser University. There was a strong showing from the Injury Prevention and Mobility Laboratory, with eight additional poster presentations from each of the following students: Thiago Sarraf, Priyanka Deshmukh, and Alex Korall at the Master's level, Yijian Yang, Omar Aziz, and Astrid van der Zijden (visiting student from Radboud Unversity, The Netherlands) at the Ph.D. level, and Lisa Lucarino and Rebecca Schonnop at the undergraduate level.

On August 18, 2011, TIPS investigator Vicky Scott led an expert team (including TIPS investigators Fabio Feldman and Ming Leung) in a two hour "webinar" on the topic of Falls and Related Injuries in Residential Care.Participants in the meeting included experts from more than 200 residential care sites across British Columbia.

On July 15, 2011, Steve Robinovitch presented a 60 minute invited talk on Cause and prevention of falls and fall-related injuries across the lifespan to the Canadian Physiotherapy Association 2011 National Congress in Whistler, British Columbia. He also participated in a round-table discussion on Assessment and prevention of hip fractures in older adults. TIPS Co-investigator Karim Khan also provided invited talks at the Congress.

On June 17, 2011, Steve Robinovitch presented the paper Scientific basis for the design of a test method to measure the force attenuation provided by wearable hip protectors to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), Ninth Symposium on Performance of Protective Clothing and Equipment: Emerging Issues and Technologies, in Anaheim, CA.

On June 8, 2011, TIPS investigators Steve Robinovitch and Joanie Sims-Gould provided a 60 minute overview of the TIPS program at the Research Rounds of the Ministry of Health Services in Victoria, British Columbia. Their presentation was titled Fall scene investigations and safe movement environments: technology for injury prevention in seniors (TIPS). It was attended by a variety of Ministry personnel and members of the public, and transmitted via live video to fall prevention stakeholders across British Columbia.

On March 24, 2011, Steve Robinovitch provided a Plenary Lecture at the conference "Falls Prevention in Seniors Across the Continuum of Care" in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The title of his talk was Video Capture of the Mechanisms of Falls in Older Adults: Emerging Results from the CIHR-funded Technology for Injury Prevention in Seniors (TIPS) Program. He also presented an Update on the role of wearable hip protectors and compliant flooring for fall injury prevention in long term care facilities. Conference attendees included a wide scope of individuals involved in fall prevention in community or institutional settings.

15/08/2011 - Hip protectors: Recommendations for biomechanical testing – an international consensus statementby Professor Robinovitch and colleagues has been selected as one of the 15 most important publications at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility for the UBC Faculty of Medicine Centre Self-Study Report. The work brought together an international team of clinicians and biomechanics experts on hip fracture to generate much needed guidelines on the design of hip protectors.

30/07/2011 - Priyanka Deshmuk recently won the SFU Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Centennial poster competition with her poster titled Sensor Design for Hip Protectors to Detect Usage and Impact Force upon a Fall. The goal of the project was to objectively determine hip protector usage patterns to observe user compliance in wearing the devices and to design a system to estimate the force incurred by the hip upon impact on the ground following a fall in an effort to assess biomechanical performance of hip protectors.

28/07/2011 - Joseph Choi, Thiago Sarraf, Yijian Yang, Rebecca Schonnop, and Stephen Robinovitch gave presentations at the 2011 Festival of International Conference on Caregiving, Disability, Aging and Technology (FICCDAT) in Toronto, including running a workshop titled Video Technology for Monitoring and Preventing Falls in Long-Term Care.

29/05/2011 - Pet Ming Leung gave a presentation of her work at the ICAMPAM conference in Glasgow, UK.

On April 29, 2011 Pet Ming Leung successfully defended her M.Sc. thesis An examination of how physical activity and sedentary behaviour in older adults in assisted living associates with physical, cognitive, and psychosocial function. Congratulations Ming!