Researchers developed WalkWise that uses motion-detecting technology in walkers, which allows care professionals and family members to monitor adults facing mobility issues
Senior adults living independently are often required to be monitored for levels of physical activities in order to keep track of their health problems, cognitive decline debilitating falls or depression. Now WalkWise company owned by MIT alumni, Peter Chamberlain has developed a new device named WlakWise, that allows to do so.
Not all senior adults would like to wear devices wearable trackers such as Fitbit and installing motion detecting systems at different locations in houses could be very complicated. Thus, the CEO of WalkWise developed an alternative in form of a device that is equipped with accelerometer that is installed on the front wheel of an already existing third-party walker. When the person utilizes walker for moving around places, the new device starts recording the revolutions of the wheel and relays the data with the use of Bluetooth to a cellular router that is plugged on the wall.
Furthermore, this router then transmits the data to an online server, which allows the caregivers monitor the person using walker, remotely. They can monitor activity levels of seniors through an onscreen dashboard which can be personalized. Moreover, this new device is also capable of detecting if the walker and thus the user has fallen over. It sends an alert signal indicating the user may be suffering a fall.
The WalkWise is uses AA batteries for power that last for a complete year. The device has already been made available commercially and is adopted by healthcare organizations in 12 states in the U.S. Users have to pay initial cost of US$ 40, and later US$ 20 is required for monthly subscription of the technology.