What is a hip fracture?

A hip fracture is not actually a fracture of the pelvis, but most commonly a fracture of the upper portion of the thigh bone.  This typically happens in three main areas: the femoral head and neck, the greater and lesser trochanters, or the subtrochanteric region.

I have had my hip(s) replaced, so why would I need this?

The metal in a hip implant is much stronger than the surrounding bone; those who fall and have had a hip replacement are actually at more risk of subsequent hip fracture at areas close to the site of where the implant is attached to the bone.  

Does the belt require FDA approval?

No, the belt is a personal safety product being marketed in a similar way as passive hip pads and other wearable airbags for motorcycling, skiing, equestrian, and other applications.

Is it comfortable?

Our belt has been designed with older adults who are fearful of falling, curtail their activities due to falling, and want to protect themselves. We worked with residents in long-term care and post-acute settings on the form, fit, and features, and have amassed over 20,000 hours of wear showing a high rate of belt usage.  

Doesn’t the hip break before the fall?

This is almost never the case.  Multiple studies have confirmed that up to 96% of hip fractures occur due to a fall from standing height. (Source: Parker, M. T. (1997) Spontaneous Hip Fracture. Acta Orthopaedica Scandinavica, 68 (4): 325 – 326)

Will deployment of the belt cause any additional injuries?

 We are using safe, “stored gas” airbags which are designed to be worn on the body. In-house testing has shown that the belt safely reduces impact at the hip. 

Does the belt come in different sizes?

Yes, 5 sizes which cover the 5th to 95th percentile of the US older adult population.  The belt can be fine-tuned to get the optimal fit.

How effective is hip protection?

Large clinical trials and a Cochrane Review has been conducted on hip pads proving their effectiveness when worn.  The Kannus study published in the New England Journal of Medicine had 1400 participants, and was able to reduce hip fractures by 84% when padding was worn.  Our airbag was designed to have greater protection and coverage than the pad utilized in that study.

How does the belt work?

Most simply, the belt uses 3D motion sensors to determine out-of-control motions that don’t exist in balanced human movements and would result in a serious, hip-impacting fall.  We call our patented technology “fall disambiguation,” and we utilize machine learning to continually refine it.

Is the belt showerproof?

The belt is water-resistant and can be cleaned with a disinfectant spray and wiped down. However, the belt cannot be used while showering.

Can the belt be used for other activities?

The belt is designed for older adults, their motions, and their daily routine.  The belt is not designed to be used outside our target demographic or for activities like cycling, horseback riding, etc.  

Can people sleep in it?

Yes.  Many wearers find the belt comfortable enough to sleep in, as long as they are not stomach sleepers.  Others find it practical to charge the belt on their bedside table and put the belt on before getting out of bed or going to the bathroom.

Can the belt be worn under clothes or concealed?  

Yes, the belt can be worn under a shirt/sweater/jacket that is not tucked in.

Can the belt work for other body parts?

Our belt is solely focused on protecting the hips, which account for 300,000 fractures in the older adult population each year in the US and 70,000 deaths.  

Is the belt reusable?

Components of the belt will need to be replaced after a deployment. Replacements can be covered under a service agreement.

Is the belt heavy?

The belt weighs around 2lbs, and when properly fit is nearly unnoticeable as it rests on the hips.  It is widely regarded as very comfortable.

Can the belt function similarly to an alert pendant and send alerts?

When connected to the facility WiFi, the belt has a button that can be pressed to call for help, and it will automatically alert caregivers in the event of a fall with airbag deployment.

Will it still work if it’s not connected to WiFi?

Yes, when off-network, it will still protect during a serious hip-impacting fall; however, it requires WiFi for sending alerts.

How long does the battery last?

The belt’s battery will last most users up to 7 days between recharging.

How long does it take to size a new user? 

Setup and sizing is similar to getting fit for a pair of crutches:  Measure user to determine the appropriate belt size, and adjust the sizing strap. Sizing can be done in a matter of minutes.

Can the Tango belt be used in conjunction with a gait belt?

Yes, it is compatible.  The Tango belt should not be used stand-alone as a gait belt.

Is the belt reimbursable by insurance/Medicare?

Not yet, but we are working with several large insurers due to the economic and quality-of-life benefits of the belt. 

Is the belt dangerous?

The belt uses a cold gas inflator designed for wearable safety applications.  It does not use a pyrotechnic inflation source like many automotive airbags.

What are bundled payments, and how are they relevant to the belt?

Bundled payments are a risk-sharing program designed by CMS (Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services) in an effort to save money by financially motivating providers to keep the patient safe, deliver efficient, succinct care, and drastically reduce readmission rates. Facilities that show above average patient outcome measures may get additional referrals from providers in this partnership, among other benefits.