Innovation That Matters

Cane monitors users' health as they walk

Sport & Fitness

For many elderly people, leaving the house can become a challenge as their health deteriorates. Hoping to provide both physical support and emotional reassurance, we recently came across The Aid by Lithuanian designer Egle Ugintaite. As well as acting as an aid to walking, the cane, which recently won the grand prize in Fujitsu’s 2011 design award, also monitors the users’ pulse, blood pressure and body temperature. As their wrist comes into contact with the sensors, this data is displayed on the LCD screen on the cane’s clasp. Furthermore, the cane comes with a built-in navigator, which provides a help center with the user’s location when the cane’s SOS button is pressed. In order to give The Aid’s users confidence to venture outside of their homes, the cane is also able to provide them with directions to a location of their choice. The user can contact a help center via phone or internet, which will then calculate the best walking route to the desired location and send this information to The Aid. The cane then provides directions through headphones. We’re increasingly seeing innovations in healthcare which better enable 24-hour monitoring of a patient’s condition. When this can be done through a device the patient is already using — as we saw with the Spiroscout inhaler — then so much the better! Spotted by: Katharina Kieck



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