While researching wearable technologies that support life with dementia, I came across several other technologies that I see as being useful in clinical applications, especially in rehabilitation. I thought I would start to compile a list here to spread the word on some of the really innovative and useful technologies that are out there.
If you have used any of these or have others you think should be on this list, let us know in the comments below. Sharing is caring! 🙂
Somaxis MyoLink – Worn on arm, wrist, hand, feet, legs, torso, waist, shoulders, chest, neck, and head. Somaxis, a start-up that has developed a new kind of sensor used to measure muscle energy to help people connect with their bodies and each other. For example, Somaxis MyoLink sensors and Microsoft’s X-Box Kinect to make an at-home Physical Therapy application to measure range of motion and muscle energy expenditure.
Xybermind Achillex – Worn on torso and feet. The Xybermind Achillex is a complete system that consists of a measuring wrap (inserted in the running shoes) and a measuring vest. The Achillex system measures the impact force, degree of pronation, and orientation of the foot. The system is fully automated and measurements are taken up to 400 times per second and are used to determine the ideal shoe for the user. Used in the retail environment, the device’s integrated display directly shows easy-to-understand diagrams to customers in order to help them make the right purchase decision. It seems a bit complex in how you wear it, so I think this wearable technology would be better for clinical/rehabilitation purposes rather than in the home.
3L Labs Footlogger – Worn on the feet. The 3L Labs Footlogger is a fitness tracking device that aims at spotting health problems early, as well as logging daily activity. Placed in the user’s shoe, 8 sensors coupled to 1 accelerometer help identify and record exercise habits. The data is then disclosed to the user via text or smartphone app. Footlogger can be used for athletes training, regular everyday workouts and rehabilitation.
This device costs $100 and could be used in rehabilitation, after a fall or surgery perhaps. It could also be used to detect gait changes (common in dementia progression), predict or distinguish falls, track location, etc.
Another seat sensor is the Sensimat, designed for wheelchair users (but I could also imagine benefits for those who sit most of the day). It is an intelligent pressure mat that can connect with a smart phone. With Sensimat, you can set alerts, track pressure reliefs and set notifications for when it’s time to move in order to relive pressure, and analyze pressure relief trends, allowing you to monitor and manage pressure sore prevention. You can find out more through their website or blog, and write them to inquire about pricing.
Heapsylon senSoria – Worn on legs and torso. Sensoria is a pressure sensing textile sock that accurately records user’s footsteps base on the pressure and timing of the foot landing. It offers better result than the traditional accelerometer based wearable devices which measure limb movements to calculate foot steps taken. It also detects cadence and balance for the wearer.
There is also a new T-Shirt version which uses similar textile to monitor the wearer’s heart rate. The company aims to leverage advanced wearable technology to help both patients and carers. They work with partners to provide systems and services that are able to monitor patients remotely—and around the clock—to prevent and manage and detect falls, foot injuries or complications, collect patient data, reduce costs and readmissions, and provide better quality care to patients.
The Sensoria smart sock is a working prototype that is equipped with 100% textile sensors that connect magnetically to an electronic anklet. It measures plantar pressure and force, and can wirelessly transmit the data to everything from a mobile device to a cloud based HIPAA compliant cloud repository system for analytics and behavioral feedback. Direct, real-time, and actionable patient feedback is provided via a smartwatch or smartphone application.
The sock will cost you $200. Check out the videos on their webiste to see demonstrations and hear more about how it works.
Moticon OpenGo Science – Worn on feet. The Moticon OpenGo Science is a device that measures plantar foot pressure distribution, strain on the legs, and acceleration of the foot for motion analysis. OpenGo works with a data-management software that records and analyzes the measurements and is open for application developers.
These wireless sensor insoles are primarily used in sports science and clinical research, especially for training and rehabilitation purposes. The sensor insoles can be put into any kind of shoe, the sensors are activated as soon as the user starts moving, and wirelessly transmit the measured data directly to the computer.
The computer software (called Beaker) converts raw data into clear graphs, manages the pressure data and provides 2D or 3D graphs, visualizes the acceleration of the foot, and even manages the test values from several different people.
The sensor insole is available with two different covers: the Alcantara design cover for the perfect feeling when exercising, and the Eurolinea cover made of imitation leather for simple disinfection when used for clinical applications.
Alzup seeks to improve the quality of life of people with Alzheimer’s by integrating actual memories and scientifically-proven therapies in a single platform, slowing the cognitive decline of the patient, as well as facilitate the active participation of the entire family and care team in the treatment process. The program is still under development, but you can learn more and contact them at AlzhUp.com.
Home for Life Design is a leader in providing solutions for consumers, healthcare providers, and retailers in the aging in place market. Their innovative home assessment software enables therapists and product/service providers to reach homeowners with the ideal solutions for remaining in their home for life. They offer services in environmental assessment, environmental modifications, and in recommendations.
Their service focuses on person-environment fit, meaning how well a person’s abilities and capabilities fit with the environment as well as how the environment can be modified to be a better fit and how a person can use rehabilitation to better interact with their environment. Very useful for physical therapists, occupational or ergo therapists, gerontologists and anyone else invested in promoting a good environmental fit for a person with dementia or an older adult.