Catalyst Awardee

Project Description


F. van Hellenberg Hubar, MSc | Wolk
Competition Sponsor: EIT Health of the European Union
Awardee Year: 2020

Hip fracture is the most serious consequence of osteoporosis globally due to its complications (chronic pain, disability, diminished quality of life, and premature death). More than 620,000 elderly people break their hip annually in Europe. After such a fall, 50% of the elderly are no longer able to live at home, and 25% die within a year. The medical and rehabilitation costs per hip fracture amounts to €35,000, putting severe pressure on healthcare costs. Wolk is a hip airbag that prevents hip fractures. The scientific framework behind Wolk consists of state-of-the-art sensor technology, advanced electronics and sophisticated fall detection algorithms, developed in collaboration with the TU Delft. A nursing home with 1100 clients used 50 Wolk Airbags on a selection of fragile clients for a year, which reduced hip fractures on the total population by 46% – and none of the people who broke a hip was wearing a Wolk Airbag.

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