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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2012;2012:1202-5. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2012.6346152.

An untethered shoe with vibratory feedback for improving gait of Parkinson's patients: the PDShoe.

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  • 1Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA.


Subjects with Parkinson's disease (PD) often have trouble with ambulation. Some research has shown that auxiliary cueing in the form of vision, audio, or vibration can improve the gait of PD patients. We have developed a new vibratory feedback shoe, known as the PDShoe, which builds on existing research. This device can modulate both frequency and amplitude of feedback for the wearer. It is untethered, and thus can be worn during daily activities. Pressure and tactor status data are transmitted wirelessly over a personal area network to a notebook computer. This computer can also control the tactor actuation and stimulation frequency. This paper describes the details of design and construction of the PDShoe. A preliminary evaluation with four Parkinson's disease subjects and two healthy subjects is included to show the usability of the device.

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