The Independent Living Award

31 May 2016

Winner

Walk with Path - Path Finder: An assistive aid to facilitate gait in vulnerable groups; primarily the elderly and people suffering with neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease. Path Finder helps prevent gait disturbances that cause falls; such as freezing of gait (FoG), described as feet remaining ‘glued to the floor’, by providing visual cues designed to circumvent the issues related to existing cueing devices. The solution is a pair of shoes with lasers at the front which project green lines ahead as the person walks, activated by a sensor in each heel that monitors the user’s walking pattern and pace. The concept is currently being clinically tested in collaboration with a university in Holland, as well as research completed with patients, their carers and scientific experts. (www.walkwithpath.com)Finalists

GyroGear (SteadyGlove): An unobtrusive glove which assists people who suffer from debilitating hand tremors. The glove uses old gyroscopic engineering principles mixed with high tech sensors to counteract the tremors and stabilise the hand, taking the form of a minimalistic harness (the size of a watch on the back of the hand). The product will be primarily used by older people who suffer from hand tremors which may be linked to clinical conditions. The glove provides the simple dignity of being able to eat a bowl of soup or hold a cup of tea without spilling. Research has been carried out in part with the Neurological Centre at Charing Cross Hospital, with over 100 sufferers of Parkinson’s disease and their families to see whether they would be interested in the glove as a solution. 

AAN Medical Ltd (Dermaspray): The device has an automated, no-touch design that sprays medication onto a target joint. Even users with severely limited dexterity will be able use the device, as there is no need to open packaging or apply medication by hand. Topical delivery directly to the affected joints avoids exposure of the gastrointestinal tract and consequently reduces the potential side effects for the prolonged treatment necessary for arthritis. Dermaspray aims to enhance the quality of life for arthritis sufferers and other patients with painful joints and limited dexterity. It will improve adherence to medication regimes and reduce the number of patients requiring hospital or clinic visits for therapy. (www.sivaden.com)