Alzheimer’s sufferers often go astray and do not know how to return home. This creates considerable problems for caregivers in their daily lives. Alzheimer’s disease can be described as a degenerative brain disease that leads to dementia, loss of memory, impaired thinking, and surely major changes in the patient’s personality. Every year, 4.6 million people get Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia in the world.
However, GPS technology can help locate the person you are looking for by discovering its location on Google Maps. One company implemented GPS technology that will ease the life of Alzheimer’s caregivers.
Innovative GPS Shoes That Track Persons With Alzheimer’s Disease
Aetrex along with GTX Corp made a “smart shoe” by incorporating a GPS receiver and a SIM card into the heel of the shoe. Aestrex expects great interest in this product. There are 800,000 people suffering from this disease in the UK alone and it’s estimated this number to reach million in the next 10 years. This is the application of modern technology in solving the everyday problems of Alzheimer’s patients, but also for those who care for them.
They made these shoes for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and that can easily be lost. The shoes have the function of making it easier to find patients in case they get lost, as to avoid a multi-day search for them. They also come in man and woman sizes, and with tape or laces.
Innovation is not in the mode of geolocation itself – but in “camouflage”. These shoes on the outside are not different than other shoes. They hid the GPS and built into the heel. And that is “value-added”. Moreover, patients with Alzheimer’s disease are paranoid and do not accept new utility objects. For example, if you put a GPS watch on these patients, they would take it off. Because people with Alzheimer’s often refuse and throw away stuff they can’t recognize or look weird (jewelry, necklaces, watches). That’s why the only solution was to “hide” the geolocation device in an item.
The price of one pair of GPS shoes is around $ 300, and also the customers will be able to set up a tracking system for those who wear them or set a radius of patient motion.
When someone tracks another one without his/her consent, it brings legal and ethical concerns. GPS acts as a form of supervision and it can destroy a person’s privacy and autonomy. Abuses in spousal monitoring remain some serious, unresolved issues. What if someone inadvertently tosses these “smart shoes” into the trunk of their car and drives off in an unknown direction. Let’s hope it won’t come to that. Nevertheless, the manufacturer firmly believes that smart shoes are designed to help patients and their caregivers will fulfill their purpose.