Falls are a huge risk for seniors and figuring out how to mitigate that risk and protect seniors' freedom/quality of life is a tough thing. It is curious how senior communities have evolved on the walker, wheelchair, and motorized scooter issue over time. It wasn’t that long ago that senior communities treated walkers and other adaptive fall prevention devices as deep secrets that needed to hidden from the public and other residents. Thankfully this has changed and I talk to more and more community leaders who embrace and encourage the use of these devices. A couple of days ago I came across a really unique project that seems to hold great promise . . . maybe even substantially reduce the need for walkers and canes. The B-Shoe The Balance Shoe (B-Shoe) is being developed by a group in Israel to combat the increased risk of falls that come with aging. It consists of a shoe that contains motion sensors, a micro-processor, sophisticated algorithms that monitor a wearers walking pattern and a tractor device that is automatically activated if a wearer becomes unsteady on their feet. What it does is roll the foot back just slightly, restoring balance.
The shoe is still in development and the company is currently running a crowd funding campaign to raise additional development funds and increase awareness of their project. It appears the device is still at least two years from being available to the public. Lots of Challenges It is a cool concept but I see lots of challenges:
- It has a battery that will need to be recharged on a regular basis.
- The shoe looks like a monster in size so fashion may be a big issue here
- I sent the company an email asking if they have a projected cost and have not yet heard back, but the website has no information about cost and that makes me nervous
What do you think? Steve Moran
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