We are hopefully embarking on a world of real time senors all around us and those deployed on our bodies may be the most exciting for patients and physicians alike. If the government can stay out of the way of the tech industry, items like the cool insole above will become commonplace. Imagine a world where your shoes alert you to a brewing problem in your back and send a text to your physician to look at this at your next follow-up!
One example of this new trend is a neat kick starter project that’s creating smart insoles. For the purpose of knee injury prevention, two athletes in India named Anshuman Singh and Shuvadeep Sarka are digitizing running shoes. Their insole, called Stridalyzer, can estimate, analyze and alert runners about potential foot and knee injuries. Given that 65-70% of runners sustain injuries and of those 42% are knee injuries, the need definitely exists. As of January 7, their company ReTiSense, which was one of the most popular Kick-Starters of the year, was completely funded.
While this smart sneaker is a cool first step, the possibilities for what we call Orthopedics 2.0 are truly game changing. Think about shirts and pants made with tiny sensors that can alert you to changes in body symmetry or movement as they begin to happen. For example, let’s say your right shoulder starts to move forward causing more impingement of the rotator cuff and you are alerted by your smart phone. Let’s take it a step further. How about when your smart phone is a true intelligent assistant? It alerts your doctor and downloads exercises from the internet that are sent to your physical therapist for approval.
The upshot? As is demonstrated in Orthopedics 2.0, except in the case of trauma, injuries don’t just happen…they are caused by biomechanical problems. I hope this and other companies don’t get held up by regulations, as this new sensor filled future could make my job much easier!