One of the biggest problems faced by diabetics today is peripheral neuropathy. This is a condition in which the nerves that relay messages from the brain to the rest of the body gets damaged or diseased. The results of this change the normal sensations felt in the arms and legs and can also cause excruciating pain. A person’s legs can also become numb causing them to lose their footing which can result in injuries caused by falls. About 60 to 70 percent of all people suffering from diabetes will eventually develop peripheral neuropathy.
RXFunction Inc., a Minneapolis-based company in the assistive technology industry has developed a wearable device called the Walkasins that can help people suffering from this condition. It is certainly not a cure for the condition but it certainly is a great assistive aid for those suffering from numbness in their foot. There have been some people that have been selected to test the Walkasins and are experiencing the benefits it has to offer. All has given the Walkasins positive feedback and feel that it is a great device for sufferers of this debilitating condition.
WHAT IS THE WALKASINS
The Walkinsins is a two part wearable assistive device consisting of a consumable sole insert or foot pad and a leg unit. The sole insert is custom cut to fit each wearer’s foot size. It can be worn in regular shoes or custom orthotics. The leg unit, similar to an ankle brace is strapped to a user’s lower leg in the area of the ankle. It contains a microprocessor as well as four vibrating motors. It also has two status LED’s, a power button, and a reset button. It is powered by an internal battery that is rechargeable via a built-in USB port.
HOW DOES THE WALKASINS WORK
The foot pad is designed to measure foot pressure that is sent to the leg unit. The leg unit interprets foot pressure information from the sole insert via its internal electronics. When in use, the four vibrating motors will send sensory cues to its users to make them aware of their foot movement but specifically, their balance. Before wearing the device full-time, each user will go through a brief training on how to interpret these sensory cues as it pertains to their balance.
BENEFITS OF THE WALKASINS
One of the biggest benefits of the Walkasins is that it renews its user confidence in their ability to walk around and do so safely. Another monetary benefit is that it cuts down the occurrences of falls that can result in injuries leading to huge medical expenses
WHERE CAN ONE PURCHASE THE WALKASINS
Unfortunately, the Walkinsins has not been submitted to the FDA as of this writing and is not yet available for sale. I have not read or found any documentation on its cost as RxFunction Inc. has not released its information yet. Hopefully, it’ll become available in the near future so that people suffering from peripheral neuropathy can reap the benefits it has to offer.