The Movesole solution is based on sensor equipped shoe insoles, which detect and monitor every taken step. The insole is carefully positioned with numerous printed pressure sensors to monitor which part of the foot is getting the impact and how the walking is actually proceeding. In practice, the way one is walking gives a surprisingly accurate indication on one’s current challenges plus can also predict future issues. The collected movement sensor data by the insoles is wirelessly transformed to a smartphone application, which is then displayed to both the user and medical advice team to be analyzed. Now the given advice to “apply x% pressure and increase mobility to a certain degree” can be verified. Besides being scientifically important it is also highly motivating to know whether the injury treatment is proceeding as planned and that one is not wasting time on incorrect exercises and very importantly not worsening the original injury with over stimulation, for instance.
As would be expected, the Movesole team is a mixture of the right expertise from medical, mobile and sensor technologies as well as business fields. At the moment their ingenious product doesn’t have any relevant competitors, since the Movesole solution is totally mobile and doesn’t require a fixed setup such as the sport clinics and hospitals facilitate. Moreover, the markets are not only for those that suffer from sport or strain related injuries also certain lifestyle diseases such as type two diabetes create feet related sensor needs. As it happens, with advanced diabetes neuropathy causes diminished sense in persons’ feet. With the lost of sense one might apply too much pressure on their feet thus causing laceration and wounds. In worst case scenarios these injuries in turn might lead into amputation, yet with the Movesole smart insoles the situation could be prevented escalating to such severe lengths. When used as a preventive tool, one suffering from diabetes can monitor the way they walk thus benefitting from the accurate sensing capabilities these insoles offer.
When building these highly useful insoles the sensors must be flexible and super thin. This is where printed electronics prove to be a superior choice. Naturally, the accuracy of these sensors must also be world class to be able to provide such detailed data that is required for accurate analysis. The company idea for Movesole smart insoles came upon at the very first PrintoCent InnoFest in June 2014 and is also the first company that this printed innovation competition has given birth to. Since then the company has taken a truly rapid take off being now funded and having pilot testing entities from both private and public health care sectors. The first patient case trials have now started and the overall interest globally has been very promising. Once again, Finland has proven to be an excellent development and testing ground for yet another great innovation.