17:53 15 May 2017
WiGait, an MIT health tracker that hangs like a painting in users’ own home has been designed to track walk speed, which can predict a wide range of health issues including pulmonary disease, falls, and cognitive decline. The technology, which measures walking speed with up to 99per cent accuracy, is expected to change the lives of those who are recovering from illness, the elderly, and those living with long-term health conditions.
The wall-hanging tracker, which has been designed by Professor Dina Katabi’s team at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, detects walking speed using wireless signals. It was the result of a collaborative effort between experts from CSAIL, Boston University School of Medicine, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
WiGait, which is the size of a small painting, works by analysing the wireless signals and their reflections off a person’s body. This means that the users do not need to carry any type of sensor.
“Many avoidable hospitalisations are related to issues like falls, congestive heart disease, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which have all been shown to be correlated to gait speed,” Katabi says. “Reducing the number of hospitalisations, even by a small amount, could vastly improve health care costs.”