Designing Smart Shoes in Fall Prevention
Imagine you have a pair of shoes that warns you for a shuffle gait, motivates you to lift your feet higher, counts your steps to stimulate you to keep moving and warns you for fall risks in your environment.
shoes are the ideal to place sensors because they are closely connected to the human body and are therefore integrated in the walking cycle. And fortunately, they offer enough space for sensors and batteries. There is enough evidence that measuring gait and walking patterns helps physicians and researchers to better understand the issues around falls and ageing. The challenge is to perform these measurements in real life, and to find out how the data can help us improve the health and well-being of older adults.
And maybe even more importantly, how can users interact with smart shoes? What kind of feedback do they appreciate? Does this contribute to decrease fall risk or fear of falling? Does it motivate the users to walk more, to improve mobility and stamina?
This DfI graduation project entails doing context research about how aging adults experience the fear of falling and investigate falling events. It also involves mapping out needs and concerns about a future smart shoe that could help them in walking, keeping balance, and prevent them from falling.