The iShoe: Helping Elderly People Step into the Future
Posted by Cyndi Lundeberg on March 26, 2010 in Business News [ 0 Comments ]
Each person deals with the loss of a loved one or family member in a variety of ways, some take time to grieve, while others utilize the pain caused to do something about it. After losing his grandmother to a serious fall MIT and Harvard student Erez Liebermen-Aiden searched for could have been done to save his grandmothers life. In an internship with NASA he was challenged to develop better stability methods for astronauts in space, when his invention came to him.
30 year old Aiden realized with better stabilization his grandmother might not have had a catastrophic fall. With this realization Aiden developed a revolutionary product he dubbed “iShoe”. The iShoe is a high tech shoe insole which measures a persons stability, which he received Harvards innovation award and $30,000.
The iShoe due out sometime next year uses digital sensors to gather data about a persons stability. The iShoe is going to be sold for $100 but reports state this product will be covered by most health insurance companies due to its necessity for elderly people. According to the shoes website one in three people 65 years and older fall each year resulting in more than 300,000 hip fractures. One in five of the people who suffered a hip fracture will pass away within a year of breaking their hip.
Through his work with NASA Aiden knew that a persons balance does not have to do with walking as much as it does ones ability to stand still. A person with little to no balance problems shifts their weight every 40 seconds or so, but a relatively unstable person shifts their weight constantly sometimes even every second, which the iShoe records.
The information gathered by the iShoes’ digital sensors can then be sent to possibly a persons doctor or computer using a blue tooth connection. Aiden feels constantly having information on people especially later in their life is not only important but potentially vital to the prolonging of their lives.
It seems Aiden’s inventions are only beginning. Already he has created the iBlance scale which measures weight, body mass index (BMI) and also uses sensors to deteremine how balanced your stance is. When utilized with balance indicators of the iShoe the iBalance could provide a comprehensive health plan for elderly people based on weight distribution which could prevent a devastating fall.
Aiden commented to CNN that as you get older yearly check ups are no longer sufficient, but sometimes all doctors and people can make time for so the iShoe eliminates the hassle of getting to the doctor by transferring data to doctors where they can then analyze the data and look for potential problems for which they can be proactive.
While the iShoe is still in the development phase and aid from his products parent companies MIT and NASA Aiden believes its application to the medical field will help keep his grandmother near to his work and prevent a similar mishap for others.