Sata CommHealth to test airbag vest that can help protect seniors when they trip and fall

Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin (left) observing a demonstration of the YDB Airbag vest on April 15. PHOTO: PR COMMUNICATIONS

SINGAPORE – Sata CommHealth is looking to introduce an airbag vest which is deployed within 0.18 second when an elderly person wearing it trips and falls.

A cushion of air protects the neck, head, shoulders and hips when the vest is activated. 

The YDB Airbag Vest’s technology was one of the innovations at the Room for Practical Innovation for Elders showcase that was launched on Saturday. 

The China-made product was rolled out in 2015 and many countries have adopted it, including nursing homes in China.

Five years before the vest was launched, its design team had begun studying materials and inflation technologies to create an innovative, wearable option for the elderly.

Sata aims to make the vest affordable for the elderly, said Ms Zubaidah Yusoff, its assistant director of community programmes.

“The vest is worn over clothing and is designed to be discreet and comfortable. The benefits include increased safety and reduced risk of serious injury from falls, including fractures and head injuries,” she added.

“The YDB Airbag Vest has not been adopted by any senior homes or elderly individuals in Singapore but Sata CommHealth aims to pilot test (it) with their stakeholders and rehabilitation clients, especially the elderly, who are at high risk for falls.”

On Saturday, Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, who was guest of honour at the launch, was seen inspecting the vest during a demonstration at the Sata CommHealth premises in Chai Chee Street.

The other innovations at the showcase aim to facilitate independent living.

Examples are a height adjustable kitchen, which can be configured to be user-friendly for those in wheelchairs, and devices that tap virtual reality to help seniors keep fit.

The Digital Brain Function Screen, an online medical-grade assessment that tests for early brain function decline, can be completed in under 20 minutes. It assesses areas such as working memory, immediate memory and attention.

The public can visit the showcase in Chai Chee on weekdays from 9am to 5pm.

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