Shoes that Help Prevent Falls

December 8th, 2010 by admin Leave a reply »

Senior Citizens fall at an alarming rate. One in 3 people over 65 falls at least once a year and 10-15% of these falls are associated with serious injury. The medical expenses relating to treatment after falls are estimated by the Center for Disease Control to be 19.9 billion dollars a year. Falling translates into a quality of life issue even when an injury hasn’t occurred. 36% of people over 65 admit to being at least moderately afraid of falling. Fear can lead to altered behavior such as reduction in outdoor activity and more limited socialization. This is clinically linked to depression, and depression is linked to a shorter lifespan. For all of these reasons, there is a strong need for a device which can not only limit falls but also instill confidence in its user to continue living mobile lives. Moreover, the need for such a device will rapidly expand as 76 million people in the baby boomer generation enter their golden years.
SafeStep is a shoe designed to help people AVOID falls. It works by detecting drop offs and obstacles in the path of the wearer and discretely alerting them of the hazards through vibration. The electronics which power SafeStep are buried deep in the sole with only a small window at the front as an indicator that the shoe is different. This muted aesthetic preserves the dignity of the wearer.

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