NSU researcher receives US Patent for developing fall prevention model

December 03, 2013

FORT LAUDERDALE-DAVIE, Fla.- Each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults, resulting in approximately $30 billion in direct medical costs per year.

In an effort to prevent these unnecessary injuries and deaths, Patrick Hardigan, Ph.D., executive director for Health Professions Division research at Nova Southeastern University (NSU), set out to develop a model used to help predict the effect of medication and dosage on injurious falling. He recently received a U.S. Patent (No. 8,521,490) for an algorithm he developed called the "Statistical Model for Predicting Falling in Humans," also known as the "Fall Model."

"Our goal is to develop a multidisciplinary fall prevention program and ultimately reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries due to falls," said Hardigan.

The Fall Model uses a robust amount of unidentified patient information from the state of Florida and other public sources such as height, weight and age, combined with each respective patient's clinical diagnosis and prescription medication regimen to determine the patient's likelihood of falling. The result is a "likely" or "not likely" determination.

This model will eventually be computerized in an easy-to-use template for use in health care settings, including hospitals, pharmacies, nursing homes and clinics. This computerized application will provide individual risk profiles for falling that will enable health professionals to implement personalized fall prevention strategies. Providers will be able to enter patient data to determine if alternate drugs should be prescribed or dosages altered, and/or whether a patient should be under stricter observation or undergo physical therapy or other form of preventative measure to reduce the risk of the patient falling.

"Statistical models like this offer significant inherent advantages for clinicians because they can correctly register the simultaneous importance of a dozen or more factors," said Gary S. Margules, Sc.D., NSU vice president for research and technology transfer.

The growing popularity of clinical guidelines suggests that consistent application of evidence-based medicine is a desirable feature of contemporary medicine.

"NSU is committed to translational research like this and we are proud of what Dr. Hardigan and his team have accomplished," said George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D., NSU president and CEO. "Breakthroughs such as these will have a real-world impact on countless lives."

Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head traumas, and can increase the risk of early death, according to the CDC. In 2010, 2.3 million older adults were treated in emergency departments and more than 662,000 were hospitalized, causing an unnecessary burden on the health care system.
-end-
About Nova Southeastern University: Situated on 314 beautiful acres in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic fully accredited research institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs at all levels. NSU is a not-for-profit independent institution with 27,000 students. NSU awards associate's, bachelor's, master's, specialist, doctoral and first-professional degrees in a wide range of fields. NSU is classified as a research university with "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and it is one of only 37 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie's Community Engagement Classification. For more information, please visit http://www.nova.edu.

Nova Southeastern University

Related Medication Articles from Brightsurf:

New medication may treat underlying causes of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Mavacamten, a new investigational cardiac medication, may improve heart function for people with thickened heart muscle leading to obstructed blood flow through the heart, a condition known as obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Therapy plus medication better than medication alone in bipolar disorder
A review of 39 randomized clinical trials by scientists from UCLA and their colleagues from other institutions has found that combining the use medication with psychoeducational therapy is more effective at preventing a recurrence of illness in people with bipolar disorder than medication alone.

Kids diagnosed with ADHD often don't take medication regularly
Children diagnosed with ADHD inconsistently take their prescribed medication, going without treatment 40 per cent of the time, a new study has found.

Long-term medication for schizophrenia is safe
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and their colleagues in Germany, the USA and Finland have studied the safety of very long-term antipsychotic therapy for schizophrenia.

Which is more effective for treating PTSD: Medication, or psychotherapy?
A systematic review and meta-analysis led by Jeffrey Sonis, MD, MPH, of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, finds there is insufficient evidence at present to answer that question.

ADHD medication: How much is too much for a hyperactive child?
When children with ADHD don't respond well to Methylphenidate (MPH, also known as Ritalin) doctors often increase the dose.

Pain medication use by children after common surgeries
About 400 caregivers reported pain medication use by children after common surgeries such as hernia, elbow fracture, appendectomy or adenoid removal in this study.

Bringing cancer medication safely to its destination
Treating cancer more selectively and more effectively -- this could be achieved with an innovative technology developed by teams of researchers at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU).

Bullying linked to student's pain medication use
In a school-based survey study of all students in grades 6, 8, and 10 in Iceland, the use of pain medications was significantly higher among bullied students even when controlling for the amount of pain they felt, as well as age, gender, and socioeconomic status.

New medication gives mice bigger muscles
Researchers from Aarhus University, Denmark, have studied a new group of medicinal products which increase the muscle- and bone mass of mice over a few weeks.

Read More: Medication News and Medication Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.