VIDEO: Students invent sensing shoes for patients with peripheral neuropathy
Rice University bioengineering students are building a device that can help people who have impaired sensation in their feet stay upright and avoid falls.
The students expect what exists currently as a tangle of wires, sensors, circuits, and motors will someday be a simple powered insole that can go into any shoe to provide additional tactile sensation to improve the wearer’s motor skills.
That sensory feedback could prevent a tumble. For many elderly and patients with diabetes who might have lost some ability to feel their extremities, that can be a lifesaver.
The team of Megan Kehoe, Yuqi Tang, Suzanne Wen, Daniel Zhang and Allen Hu, senior bioengineering majors working with faculty adviser Eric Richardson, accepted the challenge posed by Dr. Mehdi Razavi, director of electrophysiology clinical research at the Texas Heart Institute. Razavi asked students working on their required capstone projects at Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen to find a way to help his patients maintain their balance.