therapist helping older man
A Friendship Village staff member assesses a resident using the technology. (Photo courtesy of Friendship Village)

Falls are no laughing matter in senior living communities. Approximately 36 million falls are reported among older adults each year, resulting in more than 32,000 deaths. And each year, approximately 3 million older adults are treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries.

Friendship Village in St. Louis made a concerted effort to reduce falls among residents of its community by using VirtuSense balance technology, which uses artificial intelligence to assess each resident’s ability to walk, sit and complete other motions. The operator’s effort won Friendship Village Gold in the Quality category in the Senior Living track of the 2022 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards. 

Friendship Village says that the community has seen a 65% increase in attendance at its balance classes among users, and 90% of those who have undergone an initial balance assessment have seen improvement in at least one of five test areas at the 6-month follow-up. Ninety percent of those who have undergone the assessment also report an increase in activity level and happiness, according to the provider.

“Friendship Village uses the VirtuSense technology with our residents every day, and it has been an invaluable resource for our caregivers, providing information and wellness goals for all our residents as they strive to prevent falls,” Social Media Specialist Steve Nagy said. “Risk of falls is one of the main fears many seniors have, and our campuses are purpose-built to help minimize those risks. Having the VirtuSense system in place helps maximize the health and confidence of our residents so they can get the most from their golden years”

Other award winners in the awards in the Senior Living track’s Quality category:

  • Silver: The Goodman Group, Bethesda, MD, for its use of “Tim,” the Servi food service robot.
  • Bronze: IntegraCare, Wexford, PA, for its use of the Rythmos 4-in-1 safety and wellness platform

Read about the Quality category winners in the Skilled Nursing track on the McKnight’s Long-Term Care News website and in the Home Care track on the McKnight’s Home Care website.

See a list of all 2022 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards Senior Living track winners here.

The Platinum sponsor of the 2022 McKnight’s Tech Awards + Summit is KARE. Gold sponsors are iN2L + LifeLoop, IntelyCare and Saiva.

To view the virtual awards presentation and recordings of the Summit webinars, visit