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Other innovations 18/12/2019

Show me how you walk, I'll tell you how you are

At ENGIE Fab, as part of the New Business Factory team, intrapreneurs are developing AbilyCare, a digital solution that evaluates walk and balance. After she has practiced being a general practitioner, Lina Michelet wanted to extend her approach to the medical world by integrating a master's degree in health information systems. She has joined AbilyCare team and, in this article, she explains how measuring the motor function can anticipate the risk of falls, in relation to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and psychosocial risks (PSR). 

Fall on same level: better anticipation of risks

When we talk about an accident at work, falls on same level do not spring to mind. However, they are the second most common cause of work accidents, with at least four days off work. They represent 13% of accidents recorded in French companies, or more than 80,000 cases (INRS 2014). We often explain them by an unsafe environment (misplaced walking, slippery ground, etc.) or an inappropriate behavior.

Despite the safety measures at work and the growing awareness of employees, the results of prevention appears to have come to a standstill. It is thus necessary to extend the research to other factors.

According to various health specialists , it is becoming clear that we should consider a third factor: the person's own physical or psychological health. Indeed, even a slight alteration of this condition is likely to lead to a risk of falling. 

Today, we pay high attention to the psychosocial risks (PSR): they indirectly lead to work accidents. INSERM defines them as "the combination of a large number of variables, at the intersection of the individual, collective and organizational dimensions of professional activity". We’ve already taken measures at the organizational and collective level. It is now possible to strengthen individual management by measuring physical factors such as balance and walk, which are strong markers of PSR and risk of falling.

Show me how you walk, I'll tell you how you are!

This is what "AbilyCare" solution proposes: a device that evaluates the individual's health by measuring the motor function. It is the result of a collaboration between physicians and researchers working on the quantification of human behavior, and it has resulted in 20 publications and 3 patents. 

A fine measurement of balance and displacement makes possible to evaluate functional capacities and thus the risks of falling. These measures are supplemented by socio-medical questionnaires surveys. How can we objectify the link between an attention disorder, due to an alteration in the general health status, and the occurrence of a fall on same level ? Thanks to AbilyCare, which provides an innovative approach to safety and well-being at work.

With AbilyCare, an accurate assessment of the individual's general health status makes possible to objectify and anticipate different types of risks that can lead to a fall on same level, whether they are simply related to physical problems (MSDs) or to a weakening psycho-social context (PSR). The objective: a new step towards zero accidents!

Doctor of General Medicine, e-Health Project Manager at ENGIE

About the Author :

After practicing as a general practitioner, Lina Michelet wanted to develop her approach to the medical world by integrating a master’s specializing in health information systems. She is part of the AbilyCare team and explains in this article how the objective measurement of motor function makes it possible to anticipate the risks of falling, in connection with musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and psychosocial risks (RPS). 

Source: Lina Michelet

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