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Insoles for Neuropathy and Balance Issues

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Path Feel (Insoles for Neuropathy and Balance Issues)

Reporting period: 2019-11-01 to 2020-04-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project
An aging population and diseases related to aging (Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, neuropathy) increase feet numbness, balance and mobility issues. Affected people stop feeling the ground properly, which makes them lose balance and increases the risk of falls and injuries, which in turn lead to devastating consequences. Patients and families lose their independence and public healthcare costs are rising as a result – now the European population aged 65+ uses 60% of
healthcare resources. One of the ways to reduce the costs of care for the elderly and chronic patients relates to fall prevention.

At Walk With Path we invented Path Feel – an insole that provides vibrational feedback to the feet in real time to help people feel the ground again. It increased the balance and mobility of 92% of users and reduces their risk of falls by 50%. We have proven that it works in a number of pre-clinical studies, and further studies are taking place as part of this project to validate the product in a diabetic population. By bringing mobility back, Path Feel gives more freedom to the patient and the family.

The elderly population in the EU is projected to increase, reaching 75 million by the end of 2020 and 88 million in 2030. Over 220 million people worldwide suffer from balance and sensory issues, and the global walking aids market is estimated to surpass €1 billion by 2023, growing at an estimated CAGR of 4.3% from 2018 to 2023.

Within the project we will finish our existing prototype and make it ready for manufacture, validate it based on clinical and usability testing, certify it according to the required regulations, and introduce it to the market after the project ends.
Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far
During months 1-6 we made significant advances on product development. These included selection of hardware components for use in the final product, development of prototypes for an initial clinical study phase, and prototype development together with our clinical partner, Manchester Metropolitan University. We also developed an app prototype for the data analysis aspects related to Path Feel. We have started commercialisation activities, including discussions with potential partners, such as Ecco. We have also researched the reimbursement methodology and landscapes in several countries, including Germany, France, the UK and the US.
In addition, we have prepared the planner communications plan and started implementing it by attending events, publishing social media posts and press releases.
Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)
We expect Path Feel to make a significant impact on society and people living with chronic conditions affecting their mobility and many other aspects of their lives, including psychosocial health. Path Feel will contribute improved quality of life for individuals and their families and a reduction in cost to healthcare systems and society. In terms of the technology, we have progressed beyond the state of the art by providing haptic feedback to alleviate symptoms of diabetes (and other potential conditions, including neuropathy caused by aging). Other potential solutions such as insoles with sensors are passive and do not provide a therapeutic benefit in real-time. This is a significant improvement over the state of the art.
Images of the insole prototype (from left to right) from the bottom, from the top and with a side vi
Interview in Medical Futurist, April 2020
Interview with Polidea, April 2020
Healthtech Digital article, April 2020