Validity of a Smartphone-Based Fall Detection Application on Different Phones Worn on a Belt or in a Trouser Pocket

J. Vermeulen*, S. Willard, B. Aguiar, L.P. de Witte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The objective of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of a smartphone-based fall detection application when different smartphone models are worn on a belt or in a trouser pocket. Eight healthy adults aged between 18 and 24 years old simulated 10 different types of true falls, 5 different types of falls with recovery, and 11 daily activities, five consecutive times. Participants wore one smartphone in a pocket that was attached to their belt and another one in their trouser pocket. All smartphones were equipped with a built-in accelerometer and the fall detection application. Four participants tested the application on a Samsung S3 and four tested the application on a Samsung S3 mini. Sensitivity scores were.75 (Samsung S3 belt),.88 (Samsung S3 mini trouser pocket), and.90 (Samsung S3 mini belt/Samsung S3 trouser pocket). Specificity scores were.87 (Samsung S3 trouser pocket),.91 (Samsung S3 mini trouser pocket),.97 (Samsung S3 belt), and.99 (Samsung S3 mini belt). These results suggest that an application on a smartphone can generate valid fall alarms when worn on a belt or in a trouser pocket. However, sensitivity should be improved before implementation of the application in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-23
Number of pages6
JournalAssistive Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • fall detection
  • smartphone
  • validity
  • elderly people
  • CARE

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