Path Finder, the first innovative product designed and produced by Walk With Path, officially launches in Canada on the 30th of April, 2019. Through iterative user-testing during several stages of development, Path Finder is now commercially available across the European Economic Area, Switzerland, Turkey, Hong Kong and Canada as a CE marked Class 1 medical device, purchasable by private users and interested healthcare professionals via our website or via specific in-country distributors.
Path Finder is a shoe attachment that provides visual laser cues for patients suffering from Freezing of Gait (FoG), a symptom of Parkinson’s (PD) and other neurological disorders, severely impacting gait and quality of life. These visual laser cues are in the form of horizontal lines, prompting the individual to take steady steps with both feet, one after another. This hands-free device is meant for individuals with unsteady gait, and can be used to gain confidence, regain mobility, prevent falling and improve quality of life.
Lauren is a user with Parkinson’s who reached out to Walk With Path because she had experienced magnificent benefits of visual cues; “I have early onset Parkinson’s. I recently was going through the airport and walked on a moving sidewalk with lines. Never in the world would I have thought that, all of a sudden, I didn’t have to push myself to walk. I didn’t understand what was happening and started to giggle. I almost fell on my face when I stepped off. I want to feel that way again! There are no words. It made me cry and find you.” See the video with Lauren here.
Path Finder was developed with a user-centric mindset, taking into account individual suitability and needs. “The project should be an inspiration to all medical device companies because it puts the user at the centre of solution creation”, said Brian Firth from MIE Medical Research. Peter Schmidt, from the National Parkinson Foundation (USA), said “It's a great idea. Projected lines are a great aid, but up until now they've only been built into canes and walkers.”
Supporting evidence of the use of Path Finder is vast
- Published in the Journal of Neurology and Journal of Movement Disorders regarding more than a 50% reduction of Freezing of Gait with an opportunity of a 35% decrease in falls in the Parkinson’s population.
- Performed multiple Patient Public Investigations (PPI) from across the United Kingdom to evaluate the efficacy of Path Finder according to our users’ needs.
- Engineered and developed Path Finder to the most appropriate hardware and software specifications, ensuring that it can be customised to the end user’s gait.
- Worked alongside our manufacturers to produce the most functional and durable products which are both safe and user friendly.
- Completed an end-user evaluation study whereby the quality of life increased in the users of Path Finder.
Going forward, Path Finder’s efficacy in improving mobility and facilitating rehabilitation in the ageing population and people with other neurological disorders will continue to be studied. It is our hope that Path Finder will provide mobility to those who need it and help people gain confidence, prevent injuries, combat isolation, and facilitate people in a return to playing an active role in their community.