Prof. Mark E. Williams
University of North Carolina, USA
|Title: A NOVELNONINVASIVE APPROACH TO MEASURING FUNCTION AND FALL RISK IN ELDERLY PEOPLE USING WEARABLE SENSOR TECHNOLOGY|
Recent technological advances have led to the development of small wearable microelectronic sensors (accelerometers) that detect motion, gravitational acceleration, and velocity with six degrees of freedom (forward-backward, up-down, and side-to-side plus rotational vectors). We have used these motion sensors to create new analytical tools called biokinetographs (BKGs). BKGs allowfor more precise screening, diagnosing, monitoring, assessment and predicting of function of elderly people as they ambulate using sophisticated analysisof the unique electronic motion signature of each person. Remarkable visual differences in “functional walking signatures” are evident on the BKGs between fallers and non-fallers. This presentation will summarize our current efforts to translate this new technology into novel clinical and research tools for improving function, reducing injurious falls, and diagnosing orthopedic and neurological conditions for elderly people.
Mark E. Williams, MD is the Emeritus Ward K. Ensminger Distinguished Professor of Geriatric Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Virginia. He received his MD degree and Internal Medicine Residency from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Particularly interested in promoting the health and independence of elderly people, he has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles on various aspects of geriatric medicine including pioneering approaches to geriatric assessment, team models of care, uses of advanced communications technology, and the approach to the elderly patient. Currently living in Wilmington, NC he has an active clinical practice spending significant time in outpatient, inpatient, and assisted-living, and nursing home settings. He has served as a consultant to numerous scientific journals, private foundations, and the federal government. In 1995, Harmony Books, published his book, The American Geriatrics Society’s Complete Guide to Aging & Health. This book, sometimes called “The Dr. Spock for Older People” is addressed to the general public and aims to empower individuals by allowing them to be better informed and to take a more active role in their own health decisions. McFarland Publishing published his book—Geriatric Physical Diagnosis: A Guide to Observation and Assessment—in October 2007. UNCPress published his book for the general public, Aging Well, A Physician’s Guide to a Healthy Body, Mind and Spirit in August 2016. His most recent book is Nail The Diagnosis, What Our Fingernails Reveal About Our Health and Illness was published in February 2017. He is recognized through peer evaluations in American Health and other surveys as one of the best doctors in America.