The Path Feel smart sole secures and improves the mobility of the elderly and sufferers of chronic diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Using sensors that measure the pressure applied to the sole, the acceleration and the trajectory of the user, Path Feel can prevent falls. When walking, vibrations give users a better feel for the ground and help them to keep their balance. A big step forward for restoring confidence in walking.
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The multidisciplinary team comprises graduates in design engineering, telecommunications engineering and neuroscience. Most previously worked for major companies such as AOL or Décathlon.
4 questions to Walk With Path
Where did you get the idea for this startup?
Lise Pape, the founder of Path Feel, had the idea while studying innovation design at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. Her father suffered from Parkinson’s disease, which affected his mobility. Lise was already working on the impact of falls on the independence and health of those suffering from the disease. Since there is no medical treatment for the causes of these falls, Lise decided to solve the problem using technology.
Any recent good news?
We are about to launch our first product, Path Finder, a lighting device fitted to shoes which helps people who suffer from Parkinson's regain some of their mobility. Nearly half of them have difficulty walking, and we are pleased to see that Path Finder has a positive impact on their quality of life. We are now looking forward to developing Path Feel, which recently won a Design Award in Denmark. This gave us the opportunity to present the product on prime-time television and attract the interest of a large number of people.
What is the most unexpected thing that your startup has made you do?
We are conducting internal research to analyse the gait of multiple-sclerosis sufferers. In order to measure the length of their stride and the number of steps, we get them to walk on paper wearing shoes soaked in paint. This may sound chaotic but it’s the best way to conduct this study without using very expensive cameras.
In what way does your project revolutionise your category?
Path Feel is unique in that it has a direct therapeutic effect. Moreover, it is able to follow and understand different types of walking. Many healthcare applications have a somewhat passive role. Path Feel’s vibrations improve the user's balance and feeling while he or she is walking, which has a direct impact on quality of life. The data collected by Path Feel is also used to help patients and healthcare professionals.