Hip'Guard image

An “industry-first” fall protection device has been launched in the UK, which uses innovative motion analysis, fall detection and airbag technology to protect the wearer from hip fractures during a fall.

Yorkshire Care Equipment, a nationwide healthcare supplier, has launched the Hip’Guard Hip Protection Belt in the UK.

The device is worn like a standard belt. With built-in motion sensors, the belt uses a validated algorithm to analyse the wearer’s movements over 1,000 times per second.

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When a fall occurs, the algorithm automatically detects the falling motion in 0.2 seconds. Then, in under 0.8 seconds, the concealed airbag inflates and surrounds the hip before the fallen person hits the floor.

The airbags have a specifically designed horseshoe shape. This protects the femoral neck by isolating it and spreading the force of the impact around the bone rather than onto it. The result is a high-level of shock absorption which reduces the risk of hip fractures.

Researchers at Virginia Tech found that airbag hip protectors reduced fall impact by 85 percent, keeping the force of impact below the 3100 N threshold recognised to cause hip fractures.

Yorkshire Care Equipment hopes this product will help the NHS face the challenges from falls among older people. It iterates that a third of people aged 65+ fall at least once a year. Hip fractures are one of the most serious injuries associated with falls in this age group, with trusts treating over 80,000 fractures each year, it says.

Learn more about Hip’Guard in the video below:

The launch of Hip’Guard took place on Thursday 22nd April at a virtual event attended by over 500 fall prevention specialists and other healthcare professionals.

This makes Hip’Guard the third fall assistance and protection device released by the company in 14 months – following its Raizer II and Raizer M falls lifting chair launches in January 2020 and January 2021.

Ahead of the launch, George Hulbert, Sales Director at Yorkshire Care Equipment, said: “We are thrilled to be bringing Hip’Guard to market as the exclusive UK distributor. Statistics repeatedly show the significant risk that falls – and hip fractures especially – pose to the older people in our communities. 90% of hip fractures are caused by falls. After a hip fracture, 2 in 4 older people will never recover their independence and, sadly, 1 in 4 will die within a year.

“Our team are always looking for new solutions that can change care for the better. Hip’Guard ticks that box for us. Crucially, it has been shown to effectively reduce the risk of hip fractures. But it’s also a product that is comfortable and practical for our customers to use. The belt is discreet, lightweight, and comes in multiple sizes. At our core, we’re all about enhancing quality of life. So, any wearable device we launched had to prioritise maintaining users’ confidence and independence.”

How Hip'Guard works inforgraphic

Hip’Guard is available to purchase direct from Yorkshire Care Equipment online, via telephone, or from its Harrogate showroom. It is the exclusive UK distributor of Hip’Guard.

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