Burke Rehabilitation Hospital announces a partnership with CatchU to study the latest technological advances to predict and prevent falls in older adults. CatchU is the result of more than 15 years of multisensory research.

The creator of CatchU, Jeannette R. Mahoney, PhD, is Associate Director of the Division of Cognitive and Motor Aging and Associate Professor of the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Mahoney designed the CatchU app to quantitatively assess fall risk in adults ages 65 and older while also providing physicians with targeted counseling and personalized therapy considerations for their patients.  

“Identifying fall risks early can help older adults maintain their independence. Current assessments of older adults, while useful, are often subjective,” said Dr. Mahoney. “The CatchU app provides quantitative markers that are significantly linked to fall-risk in aging. The test can safely be taken while a patient is seated, and the patient’s fall risk is electronically transmitted to the patient’s health care provider, along with personalized recommendations.”

During the next two years, senior adults from Burke’s network of outpatient therapy clinics, Adult Fitness Center, and outpatient medical specialist practice will have the opportunity to participate in a research study that can help identify their predisposition to falls.  Individuals who enroll in the study will use the CatchU app to take a 10-minute multisensory assessment that analyzes reaction time to visual and tactile prompts. The results will be sent electronically to the research study investigators. Physicians of participants in the intervention arm will receive CatchU results, along with subsequent CDC falls counseling recommendations for their consideration.

Dr. Mahoney is the study’s Principal Investigator. Its Co-Investigator, Dr. Mooyeon Oh-Park, SVP and Chief Medical Officer at Burke, is a Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and the Department of Neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Dr. Mahoney’s goal is to improve population health by having a safe, easy, and accurate objective fall risk assessment and counseling tool adopted as part of routine care visits for older adults. Falls among older adults are common and result in millions of emergency department visits, billions of dollars spent on medical care, and over 30,000 deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Oh-Park commented, “Preventing falls is a crucial component of enabling older adults to enjoy an active, engaged lifestyle and avoid chronic pain and limited mobility. CatchU will allow us to understand who is most at risk and then work with these patients in a customized intervention program to prevent falls—which could have a life-changing impact.”

The partnership between Burke and CatchU is part of the Business Council of Westchester’s new initiative, Westchester Innovation Network (WIN): Shaping the County of the Future. WIN matches local and international innovators with Westchester businesses and institutions to form innovation teams.

BCW President & CEO, Dr. Marsha Gordon, explained the need to attract and preserve these relationships. “Creating a stronger innovation ecosystem is critical for the future of Westchester County,” she said. “We are focused on showcasing Westchester as an attractive location to build, grow, and explore innovation. Our goals are retaining talented innovators for the long-term and creating more embedded knowledge and expertise here.”

The CatchU study is being conducted under the supervision of the Institutional Review Board of Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  For information about participating in this study, please email the team at [email protected]