There are people who, because of their disabilities or old age, may have a hard time not just walking but also getting a good feel of the ground while taking steps. They may not get the right response mechanism from their feet, which may make them think that their steps are not really landing firmly on the ground, making them check every step very carefully and sometimes causing them to trip and fall. This is common with people who have peripheral neuropathy – a condition caused by a wide range of diseases like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s Disease.
A new startup in the UK called Walk With Path recently unveiled Path Feel – a set of insoles that can help people with peripheral neuropathy walk more confidently without worrying about tripping. The insoles have sensors that feel the pressure of the feet landing on the ground and provide tactile feedback to the wearer in the form of vibrations. Feeling the vibrations ensures the person that their step has landed firmly and would enable them to keep taking subsequent steps more confidently.
The startup also has a pair of shoes called Path Finder that are specifically meant for people with Parkinson’s who suffer from freezing of gait – where they feel like their feet stick to the floor and thus have trouble initiating steps. To help people with this condition, Path Finder, the shoes, project green laser in a line to help the person put one foot in front of the other.
Path Feel and Path Finder not only want to help people with above mentioned conditions walk more confidently but also reduce the psychological consequences that come with falling, limited mobility & decreased activity, and at the same time reduce healthcare costs and increase quality of life.
Both products are in prototyping stage and are being tested by several universities. Watch the video below to find out more about Walk With Path and its products.