A Multi-sensor Fall Detection System Based on Multivariate Statistical Process Analysis

  • Yinfeng Wu
  • Yiwen Su
  • Yachao Hu
  • Ning Yu
  • Renjian Feng
Original Article


Physical injuries of elders resulting from fall accidents have become a serious social problem. An automatic fall detection system can provide timely feedback regarding the activities of elders and improve the quality of life of the elderly. This article aims to design an automatic fall detection system using multiple wearable sensors and find optimal sensor attachment locations. Six sensors are fixed on different parts of the human body to obtain real-time movement data. The autoregressive integrated moving average model is adopted to remove autocorrelation from the original data. Then, the multidimensional data are processed using principal component analysis. Finally, a novel threshold method based on a multivariate control chart is proposed for detection falls. This method can achieve high detection accuracy and can adapt to different individuals because the detection threshold is established using individual historical data. Different activities and simulated falls were performed by volunteers. Compared with most other single-sensor systems, the proposed multi-sensor system achieved higher sensitivity (94.8%) and specificity (95.2%), especially at a low sampling frequency (20 Hz). By evaluating the performance of different sensor attachment locations, the results showed that three sensors fixed on the waist, arm and thigh were able to efficiently distinguish falls from non-falls.


Fall detection Multi-sensor system Person-specific Multivariate statistical process ARIMA 



The authors would like to thank the volunteers who had participated in our experiment and the anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions to improve this paper. This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants: 61671039, 61473021 and 61421063).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Taiwanese Society of Biomedical Engineering 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Precision Opto-mechatronics Technology of Ministry of Education, School of Instrumentation Science and Opto-electronics EngineeringBeihang UniversityBeijingChina

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