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Feedback on new wearable technology

Discussion in 'Researchers, students and professionals' started by arons, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. arons

    arons Registered User

    Oct 27, 2015

    I'm looking for feedback on if a new wearable technology will help caregivers. I was asked to develop this technology, but I have little experience as a caregiver, and I'm not sure if it will work given everything you go through.

    The concept is this. The patient wears a sock with a sensor on it at night. If the patient gets up, the sock alerts the caregiver with a text or email. The sock has sensors in it, and small bluetooth device. The sock connects to a cell phone, and the phone sends the alert when it senses that the patient is up.

    The idea is to help prevent night wandering. It's not a GPS like solution, as it doesn't give exact location, but it would notify you pretty quickly, and is less invasive.

    What do you think? Thanks for any insight you have. I'd really like to help, but only if this technology/solution will help.

    - Aron
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    I think it's in interesting idea but:

    how do you make sure the person keeps the socks on? Because I don't have dementia but regularly go to bed with socks on (they seem to help with my night cramps) but equally regularly, remove them before the night is over. And I don't even have to bend over to do it: it's easy to remove them with the other foot.

    I'm not sure that a mat by the bed connected in the way you describe might not be more useful. There are mats that give an audible alarm, and of course a mat can't track the person, but it doesn't sound like this would either. And a more effective alarm system that doesn't rely on sound might be good.
  3. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    When my mum was still getting out of bed at night her socks usually got wet. I will leave you to imagine how. :rolleyes: Socks need regular washing anyway. Wouldn't it be inevitable that someone would forget to remove the sensor and ruin it?

    If something is removable then the chances are the person with dementia would remove it themselves.
    'Hunt the microchip' would join 'hunt the hearing aid' and 'hunt the false teeth' as a daily carer pastime.

    I applaud your creative idea but there are products that already do the job. My mum had a Telecare motion sensor that would sound an alert on a wireless monitor if the infrared beam was interrupted. The idea was to alert the carer before my mum had a chance to have a fall, because she could no longer weight bear but didn't remember this. Sensor alerts are only useful if someone is available to get there quickly to assist.

    How would your sock device get triggered? In bed the sensor could get pressure-activated in any number of ways. How would it know that the wearer had put their foot on the floor?

    If my mum had one she would have found a way to crawl to the bathroom to avoid disturbing the carers. There's none so ingenious as an old woman on a stealth mission. :D
  4. arons

    arons Registered User

    Oct 27, 2015
    Great feedback!

    I think we'd need to alarm if we detected that the sock was taken off, because I agree, it could easily be removed. There might be alternatives (like bed-side mats, etc) that would work better. I'll look into this.

    The sensor clips on to the top of the sock. So it could get lost. The sock is washable though. The sensors could detect the patient getting up vs. moving around, as they are pretty accurate.

    I didn't realize there were alternatives like Telacare. I'll look into these!

    Thanks for the great feedback. I'm learning a ton already.
  5. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    Near Southampton
    #5 Saffie, Oct 27, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015
    I think there already are bedside alarm mats in general use.
  6. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    No offense to you but shouldn't checking out what's already out there be the first thing anyone developing a seemingly new technology ought to do? I don't know who's asking you to develop this but it doesn't sound terribly well thought through. If the sensor is only a clip attached to the sock, I'd say that most people with dementia would probably remove it straight away. To them a clip doesn't belong on a sock so it goes. Reasoning wouldn't work.
  7. arons

    arons Registered User

    Oct 27, 2015
    Completely understand! We're in the market research phase, so this candid feedback is exactly what we're looking for.

    If you're interested, the technology is from a company called sensoria. You can google them if you're interested. They have an application for runners, and are looking to expand.

    The other key is that this is just an early prototype/concept, with the potential to make it better.

    That said, I'm not getting a great feeling about it. So you're thought is that if the patient sees the 'bump' in their sock, they will just remove it?

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