I was perusing a health news website and ran across an advertisement for SmartSole, a GPS insole tracking device. It’s developed for Alzheimer’s patients and those with cognitive impairment who make be at risk of wondering away from their caregivers.
This is an example of the way technology can be harnessed to lower cost. Some nursing homes refuse to accept patients who are at high risk of running or wondering away. The alternative is locked-down, secure facilities that are more expensive and less convenient for family members. This type of technology could even be used in the future to help mom and dad could live independently while being monitored remotely.
SmartSole allows someone to track the movements of Mom or Dad and have text messages sent if a predetermine parameter is met (like moving away from a given location by a specified distance). You can also pin point someone’s location and track their movements using a smart phone [see figure I]. The insole insert (similar to an orthopedic insole) is $299, while the ability to track the insole runs another $35 per month or $75 per quarter.
Come to think of it, I could have used one for an Airedale Terrier we used to own. Sadie McGee was a runner. Any open door or gate she would take off and go exploring on her own. One Saturday we were getting ready for an evening event while the dog was lounging outside. Then a perfect stranger – albeit a women from the neighborhood – walked right into our house with our dog on a leash. Our dog Sadie had found where I had left a gate unlocked and took off for a pond half a mile away. The neighbor lady had found Sadie ‘walking herself’ on a busy residential street.
I’m thinking my wife might want to order one to track me when I wonder off while we’re at the grocery store and I get bored with her prolonged shopping in the produce aisle. Or maybe we can both have one for our next trip to Yosemite and she takes the wrong turn on the hiking path and we wind up lost after dark!