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New "Smart Shoes" Could Allow MS Patients to Walk Without Falling

March 16, 2016

New intelligent shoes & insoles are being launched tomorrow in London. There is talk that elderly people or people with disorders that affect their mobility will be able to walk confidently without a fear of falling.

Sam, an MS patient, described walking as “walking on cotton wool, I haven’t quite got the response mechanism from the soles of my feet.” Walk With Path, a smart healthcare company, is launching two new products that will keep patients just like Sam upright.

The first one “Path Feel” is a smart insole that will help people with a sensory deficit gain feeling and walk much more easily. The insoles work as they have smart sensors inside which vibrate when the wearer walks, enhancing the wearer’s sensory perception of the environment and helping to trigger movement. They also collect data that could shine a new light on diseases that affect mobility.

The “Path Finder” shoe is specifically designed for Parkinson’s patients who suffer from “Freezing of Gait”. That is a condition that leaves patients feeling that their foot is frozen and cannot be moved from the floor. The footwear is able to provide visual cues that break Freezing of Gait, allowing people to walk with independence.

Both products are still being tested, but there has been good results so far, with some users reducing their Freezing of Gait by over 50%.