- Laser shoe designed to
prevent Parkinson's sufferers from falling, wins designer an AXA
PPP Health Tech & You award
- People who suffer
from Parkinson's disease suffer from frozen gait that makes them fall
Pape, a design engineering student, designed these shoes with her father, who
suffers from Parkinson's, in mind
developed special shoes for Parkinson's sufferers called path finders when she
was studying for her Innovation Design Engineering course at the Royal College
of Art and Imperial College in London.
Motivation Behind Designing the Shoes
suffers from Parkinson's
she has been watching him go through the various stages of the disease. The
medicines that are available for Parkinson's are not adequate to ensure a good
quality of life and people with the disease are forced to depend on others for
support, even for basic functions like walking.
‘Wearable technology like laser guided shoe improves the quality of life of patients with Parkinsonís disease.’
Walking - Marker of Parkinson's Disease Progression
walking progression are an important marker of Parkinson's progression. Bayle and
colleagues studied 39 Parkinson's patients and 159 controls to understand the
differences in walking and if it can be used as a marker for disease
progression. The scientists studied the stride length as well as the step
cadence of the study participants and tried to correlate it with age and
disease progression. This study, titled "Contribution of Step Length to
Increase Walking and Turning Speed as a Marker of Parkinson's Disease
Progression." and published in the Journal PLoS One
. (2016 Apr 25) showed
a. Length of steps
b. Step rate or cadence
invariant and are markers for the progression of Parkinson's. The conclusive
evidence from this study shows the effect of Parkinson's on walking, crippling
One of the most
frustrating characteristics of Parkinson's disease
is 'freezing of
gait' where patients suddenly freeze while walking, leading to a high risk of falls
Freezing of gait
in her father and watching him suffer through it is what frustrated Lise and
encouraged her to design a pair of shoes that will help people with Parkinson's
walk without stopping.
Action of these Laser Shoes
The shoes are
fixed with laserthat beams a straight line when the foot is placed on
the ground, based on pressure. The laser light that is beamed as a straight
line guides the patient to place the next foot forward along the line.
Using the Laser Guided Shoe
- Patients focus on the light beam
and the path of walking which eases them to take the next step forward.
has been a 55% reduction in falls due to these shoes.
laser lights from these shoes are more prominent when compared to laser lights
from canes to guide patients.
- Laser lights are visible even
during day light.
devices, such as these shoes, that are worn are more comfortable than hand held
- They aid in assisting with the specific needs of
- Builds confidence among people suffering from
- Lowers medical expenses incurred due to
troubled by her father's inability to walk and the frustration of having to
watch him suffer through the syndrome of 'freezing of gait'. This invention is
expected to aid many such people affected with the disease.
Laser Light Shoes
Ms. Pape won the
Independent Living Award at the AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards that
was held at Bafta in Piccadilly.
There are many advances in the
treatment and care for Parkinson's
, however, these shoes with the
laser light will benefit patients with Parkinson's as they are easy to use and
offer hope and independence in combating the disease condition.
of Step Length to Increase Walking and Turning Speed as a Marker of Parkinson's