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We analyze the application Videoreview Walk with Path

Video review

What does it consist of:

December 2018

 

"Path Finder", from the company "Walk With Path" is a system created to influence the problem of Freezing Gait (CdM), which occurs in people with Parkinson's or with movement disorders. CdM is a common symptom that affects up to 50% of Parkinson's patients, and is considered one of the most limiting factors. Provides visual signals from the front of the shoes, projecting a horizontal line on the ground in front of the user, at a certain distance from the feet. This system is intended to help improve walking and, therefore, positively influence the quality of life and independence of those affected by Parkinson's.

 

 

Forms of Acquisition:

The Path Finder device can be purchased on the manufacturer's website, Walk With Path: Link to the manufacturer's website 

In relation to supportIn the event that the elastic bands break, the company provides others at no cost. The contact to manage technical assistance is: +44 (0) 797 684 2669 (9 am-5pm GMT) info@walkwithpath.com

La warranty of the product is 6 months from the date of purchase. 

 

Price

Its price is 479 Euros with VAT and management fees included.

 

(0) 797 684 2669 (9am-5pm GMT) 

Are you interested in us doing a more in-depth analysis of this product?

You can request it by contacting the following link.

Technical verification:

Highlights:

- It is a unique and ingenious device to unblock the freezing of the march of people with Parkinson's. 

- Its operation is very simple and intuitive, stimulation to encourage the next step is very suitable for end users. 

Improvement points: 

- The ergonomics of the product to make it lighter and easier to carry would be key. 

- Increasing the efficiency of the battery would help make it portable in more scenarios and for longer.

 

 Design and manufacturing:

The new product valued by Orientatech is "Path Finder", an accessory for footwear that fits with an elastic system, depending on the shoe size: 

 

Path Finder Product Box

Rubber that fits over shoes

 

The system basically has a laser that is placed in the front part of the shoe, whose beam is pointed towards the front of the feet. Once the laser is placed, it is placed in the adjusted shoe: 

Path Finder system with laser installed

 

View of the complete Path Finder system in some shoes

 

 

For the configuration and preparation of Path Finder it consists of adjusting the laser line horizontally. Material is provided on the product website to be able to make this preparation of the device https://www.walkwithpath.com/path-finder-user-guide-es

It seems to us that the part that requires more precision in the implementation of Path Finder is this process of setting the line according to the manufacturer's proposal, and allowing the laser line to be visible in front of the patient's feet. 

                                                                                       

Images from the Path Finder manual

 

This process may not be that simple for everyone, the fact of having to play with the location of the rubber, the location of the laser and the adjustment of the line itself can determine the success of its use. 

 

User experience:

Once the system is correctly positioned, for the user it consists of carrying them and following the indications of the laser line described by Path Finder. The fact that the gaze has to follow the laser means that one has to look downward at all times. 

The distance between the steps can be adjusted although the configuration range is not very wide and perhaps this aspect could be optimized.

 

Technical Features:

The device physically seems to us that as it has a slightly large size to wear on the feet, it sometimes causes it to behave unstable, since the laser line moves and it must be adjusted again. 

The most remarkable thing on a technical level is the battery life. It charges quickly, but its consumption also has a short duration due to the requirement of the laser. 

There are some details at the security level that the manufacturer highlights: 

Laser Safety Information

 

Accessibility:

It is a good initiative for people with Parkinson's and with movement disorders, they must therefore have a minimum mobility that allows them to walk and cognitive understanding for the continuity of use.  

The design of the solution at a technical level does not imply high technological capabilities, we consider that the design thought of the user and the caregivers who are in their environment has been favored.

 

Social valuation:

 

The shoe has been evaluated in the Madrid Parkinson Association With 5 patients from the center itself and 2 partners, one is in the Day Center, and the other is in outpatient therapy. 

 

Impact and Utility:

All the people have made a linear journey, with turns, steps through narrow areas, and areas of opening doors. The Center's therapists have indicated to us that this last scenario is the most prone to a blockage on the part of the person with Parkinson's to continue with their ambulation.

Some of the people who have tried the solution have a significant risk of falling and do not dare to walk alone, usually using canes, a wheelchair or human support.

The overall result of the product has been very favorable, ambulation has been better with Path Finder, less freezing of the gait, therefore less blockage. The step is longer, and makes it easier for them to complete the journey in less time. 

It has been perceived that the battery charges quickly, but it has a duration that people who have tested it seem very low.

 

Usability and accessibility:

The assessment of the therapists with whom we have collaborated is that the product is designed for people with Parkinson's who still walk, have Freeze Gait at least once a day, people who drag their feet and want to improve and lengthen their stride. It is important that they can use the visual signal to obtain a more regular and essential reference that they are cognitively well, people with dementia are not recommended to use it.

With the people with whom it has been tested, some can put on the Path Finder system and others not, depending on its degree of affectation and its limitations, just as it happens when putting on and taking off the shoe. Some profiles have been able to put it on correctly, but have not been able to remove it and other people have needed help to put it on and take it off.

Regarding the handling, not all of them have been able to turn it on and off by themselves, it has also been determined by the patient's own limitations and whether they had sufficient stiffness or trunk flexion.

 

Ease of acquisition:

The product is currently priced high, due to the sophistication of the solution. For an end user, it may still be a not very accessible product, although one of the people at the Day Center of the Madrid Parkinson Association has purchased it.

 

Design and ergonomics:

In relation to the design of the solution, people have found it not very discreet and that it can be uncomfortable, they suggest that it would be good to minimize the size of the laser. The material that fits the shoe gets dirty easily and a solution is proposed, for example with velcro. 

In relation to the laser, in open spaces or with a lot of light the laser is not seen correctly. It is also perceived that with some types of floors, the system cannot be seen clearly either, however, others such as stoneware, is very favorable.

Therapists who have evaluated the device, point out that the system proposes that the user always have to go with a neck flexion to be able to see the beam of light that Path Finder describes. It should be appreciated that in the long term it can have physical consequences for the person who uses it.

 
  • Impact and utility: 5 5 on.
    5
    Describe to what extent the functionalities of the product are useful and impact on the improvement of the user's life
  • Usability and accessibility: 4 5 on.
    4
    Possibility of the device to be used, understood and used in equal conditions for any person
  • Design and ergonomics: 2 5 on.
    2
    Assessment of how the design of the technological solution adapts to the person to achieve greater comfort and effectiveness when using it
  • Ease of Acquisition: 2 5 on.
    2
    It refers to the possibilities of accessing and acquiring a technological solution by the user

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