Unimed adopts an app for preventing falls in the elderly

Data from Ministry of Health show that about 30% of seniors over 60 years suffer at least one accidental fall. Of these, 50% have reduced mobility and need secondary treatments, many for life and 20% die in the first year after the fracture.

Given this scenario, the Unimed São José do Rio Preto adopted an application developed by the startup Techbalance that helps in preventing the elderly from falling. The expectation is that the adoption of the technology will generate annual savings of R$ 400 thousand. Currently, the cooperative’s expenses with assistance to elderly victims of falls reach R$1.6 million per year.

“Thinking and bringing innovation into the cooperative is fundamental for the sustainability of the business. Seeking partnerships like this with Techbalance will be a necessity going forward. Innovations like this will transform the market and people’s quality of life”, explains Henrique Gandolfi, member of the cooperative’s Board of Directors and responsible for the Innovation and Information Technology area.

Henrique Gandolfi: “We are experiencing a moment of digital transformation and innovation”

“We are experiencing a moment of digital transformation and innovation at Unimed Rio Preto, approaching startups, universities, technology parks, to seek innovative products and mechanisms that really contribute to improving the patient experience and modernizing our business model. A continuous and no-return process that will completely change the supplementary health market in the coming years”, explains Gandolfi.

According to data published in the Revista de Saúde Pública, of the elderly who suffer falls, 1.8% have hip and femur fractures and 31.8% need to undergo surgery for prosthesis placement. This still represents a high hospital expense for public and private health.

Technology

With the help of the cell phone, which is attached to the elderly person’s waist, the application can measure the predisposition to falls, assess the postural balance and motor autonomy of patients aged 60 years and over. With a kit provided by the startup (brace, cell phone, steps and treadmill), the patient makes some movements that are captured by smartphone sensors (accelerometers, magnetometers and digital compasses) and analyzed by the application’s algorithm.

At the end of the test, the patient receives a report by e-mail with guidelines that can help manage frailty and minimize the risk of falls, in addition to serving as support for the physician to propose treatments and make the best clinical decision. Depending on the results, the beneficiary may also be invited to participate in specific Unimed Rio Preto programs with multidisciplinary monitoring.

“Techbalance helps to solve a big problem, albeit little talked about, which is the fall of people over 60 years old. The impact is immense, both in the life and health of the elderly, who usually have complications, and in the costs generated for the health system with hospitalizations and treatments”, highlights Techbalance’s founder and CEO, Fabiana Almeida.