2023 Research Impact Canada Engaged Scholarship Award Winner (PhD category): Erin Ratelle

Erin Ratelle was awarded the 2023 Research Impact Canada Engaged Scholarship Award for her project, Falls Prevention in Long Term Care Using Machine Learning.

About project

Falls are the leading cause of injury in older Canadians and can have life changing implications on individuals and their families. Up to 30% of seniors experience at least one or more falls per year and over one third of seniors are admitted to long-term care (LTC) facilities following hospitalization for a fall. Falls also cause 85% of seniors’ injury-related hospitalizations and 95% of all hip fractures, resulting in 2 billion dollars per year in direct healthcare costs (Stinchcombe, Kuran, & Powell, 2014).

To address this call, Erin Ratelle, a PhD student at the University of Alberta and researcher with the Sault Ste. Marie Academic Medical Association is partnered with Dr. Edward Hirvi, Digital Grounds Inc. and a Northern Ontario-based long-term care home to test a falls prevention protocol using the Gentroo platform. Gentroo is a platform developed by Digital Grounds Inc. that uses machine learning to predict the likelihood of a fall based on resident movement patterns. The app then alerts healthcare providers to residents’ real-time falls risk.

The research team hopes that this project will not only help prevent falls to increase resident quality of life, but also to improve the daily workflow of healthcare providers in a long-term care setting.

For more information about Digital Grounds Inc. and the Gentroo platform see:

  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DigitalGroundsInc
  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/digital-grounds-inc

For more information about the Sault Ste. Marie Academic Medical Association see:

  • Twitter: @saultama
  • Instagram: @saultama
  • Website: https://ssmama.ca/

Looking to collaborate on a research project related to digital health, sport and physical activity? Reach out to Erin Ratelle at ratelle@ualberta.ca

Stinchcombe, A., Kuran, N., & Powell, S. (2014). Seniors’ Falls in Canada. In Chronic Diseases and Injuries in Canada (Vol. 34).

About award recipient

Erin Ratelle (MA) is a PhD student in the Faculty of Kinesiology Sport and Recreation at the University of Alberta, Canada, specializing in sociocultural studies. Her current research interests include the intersections between sport, physical activity, health, and technology. Erin’s current projects include Falls Prevention in Long Term Care Using Machine Learning and Understandings of Self, Health and Embodiment through Digital Self-Tracking Practices. A former competitive cyclist and runner, Erin weaves her personal experiences in sport and recreation both into her research and to advocate for women’s and youth cycling and the development of multi-use cycling infrastructure in Northern Ontario. Erin is deeply committed to knowledge mobilization and is the recipient of the University of Alberta’s 2018 3-Minute Thesis People’s Choice Award and 2019 Falling Walls Pitch Presentation Finalist.