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Saturday, October 29, 2011
GPS Shoes for Alzheimer's Patients
From Fox News:
These boots were really made for walking.
The first batch of 3,000 shoes with integrated GPS devices -- to help track down dementia-suffering seniors who wander off and get lost -- just shipped from manufacturer GTX Corp. to the footwear firm Aetrex, two years after plans were announced to develop the product.
The company's first shoes -- dreamed up back in 2002 following the Elizabeth Smart case -- were intended to locate missing children. And safety is the driving force today behind the company's newest GPS-enabled shoe. According to AFP, The shoes will sell at around $300 a pair and buyers will be able to set up a monitoring service to locate "wandering" seniors suffering from Alzheimer's Disease.The system is implanted in the heel of an otherwise normal shoe, and lets caregivers or family members monitor the wearer and even set up alerts if a person strays outside of a predefined area.
GTX believes the market has great potential, given the soaring costs of Alzheimer's.
Health professionals say the new GPS shoes could be a real boon for the more than five million Americans who suffer from the disease, according to AFP. Andrew Carle, a professor at George Mason University's College of Health and Human Services, said the shoes may even save lives.
"It's especially important for people in the earliest stages of Alzheimer's who are at the highest risk," Carle told AFP.
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