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'Stand Tall' this Fall Prevention Awareness Day with Reflexion Health's interactive virtual Physical Therapist, VERA(TM)

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- September 23 marks the first day of fall and is appropriately labeled as National Fall Prevention Awareness Day, designed to bring awareness to one of the most preventable public health problems. According to the CDC, over 2.5 million adults 65 and over are treated in emergency departments annually for fall-related injuries. Twenty to 30 percent of these patients will suffer severe injuries, the most common being traumatic brain injuries, making it difficult to get around or live independently and increasing the risk of early death.

Reflexion Health, a digital medicine company using motion-tracking technologies to reimagine rehabilitation medicine, is joining Fall Prevention Awareness Day to bring innovative solutions to the number one cause of elderly visits to the emergency room each year.

Backed by over $1 million in CDC funding, Reflexion Health's multi-location 'Stand Tall' initiative has launched at the Gary and Mary West Senior Center in San Diego, Calif. and Fearrington Cares, in Pittsboro, N.C. 'Stand Tall' is dedicated to helping older adults live autonomously and decreasing the risk of falling by leading older adults through a series of evidence-based balance and strength exercises proven to reduce the risk of falling by 35 percent.

"Through the 'Stand Tall' initiative we implemented in 2015 we've seen significant improvements in our participant's balance, their overall physical activity, and their confidence in what they can and want to do," said Tiffany Shubert, PhD, PT and co-lead for the 'Stand Tall' study.

Get the facts on falls according to the National Council on Aging:

  • One in three Americans aged 65+ falls each year
  • Every 13 seconds an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall
  • Every 20 minutes an older adult dies from a fall
  • Total cost of fall injuries in 2013 was $34 billion (78% paid by Medicare)
  • Total cost of fall injuries in 2020 may reach $67.7 billion

While older adults tend to realize the dangers faced with falling, most are unsure what actions to take to prevent them. The 'Stand Tall' kit uses a television screen, a computer and the Microsoft Kinect motion-sensing camera. It can be set up in any communal space inside a senior center, assisted living facility, or nursing home.Participants are given a brief tutorial where they are shown how to log in to VERA™, get detected by the Kinect sensor, and then are ready to exercise. The virtual coach, named VERA, delivers the 'Stand Tall' exercises to strengthen the user and ultimately provide a prevention mechanism against falls.

One hundred percent of users in the 'Stand Tall' pilot program strongly agreed or agreed they would use 'Stand Tall' to improve their balance, and 94 percent strongly agreed or agreed they would feel confident using the system independently.

"To date, much of our focus has been on helping patients recover from major orthopedic procedures; many to repair hip fractures that occurred during a fall," said Spencer Hutchins, CEO and cofounder of Reflexion Health. "We're excited to offer the 'Stand Tall' program in Senior and Community Centers so that seniors have the tools to help reduce the risk of the falls in the first place."

According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), community-based programs and workshops, such as 'Stand Tall', have not only demonstrated a reduction in falls but have also reduced the fear of falling and increased overall activity in older adults.

About Reflexion Health

Reflexion Health is a digital medicine company using motion-tracking technologies to reimagine rehabilitation medicine. The first product, VERA™, is an easy to use product using Microsoft Kinect to project the avatar onto a screen, help patients perform exercises at home and report the results back to the physical therapist so the therapy can be adjusted to patient needs. VERA provides 21st century therapy for patients by improving rehab affordability, convenience, data driven evidence and an engaging platform. Physical therapists who implement VERA find they're able to better help clients during visits because they can productively assist those who are struggling with their exercises, focus on pinpointing problem areas, and better understand the true progress each client is making. VERA is currently used by patients preparing for, and recovering from, joint replacement surgery and used as a preventative therapy to reduce falls. For more information, visit www.reflexionhealth.com.

CONTACT: Holly Hitchcock 805.801.9798 Holly@Cruxpartners.comSource:Reflexion Health