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A new Australian app-based wellbeing assessment tool is being hailed as a breakthrough in predicting falls among older people at greater than 75% accuracy.

The FallScreen+ app, developed by Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), aims to maximise the physical and psychological wellbeing of older people.

It tests people aged over 60 for health conditions that are vital to their independence and wellbeing, NeuRA researcher, Associate Professor Kim Delbaere, said.

“This tool will help identify the specific needs of an individual and based on the data it collects, it will advise whether they need to be referred to clinicians or allied health professionals. For example, our trials have shown this tool can predict falls in older Australians with an accuracy of over 75%.”

About 30% of people who suffer a fall-related hip fracture die within a year.

The app is based on more than 30 years of research involving about 20,000 study participants.

Associate Professor Delbaere believes the app can have significant implications across the aged care sector as it would enable clinicians to detect problem areas and put in place preventative strategies before older people experience a significant deterioration in their health.

“FallScreen+ is unique because it screens issues early on, flags problem areas and makes recommendations for effective treatment strategies to address potential health problems.”

The app will be trialled at Mark Moran Group aged care facilities to measure the wellbeing and health status of residents.

It will then be available to download via app stores by people who work in the aged care sector, such as physiotherapists, psychologists, fall prevention clinicians and researchers.