Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

NASA iShoe Insole Could Prevent Falls On Earth

The iShoe insole has been developed by Erez Lieberman, an MIT graduate student working for NASA. It could help doctors detect balance problems before a fall.


(iShoe insole for NASA via MIT)

Lieberman, a graduate student in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, is now testing the device with a small group of patients. The current model is equipped to diagnose balance problems, but future versions could help correct such problems, by providing sensory stimulation to the feet when the wearer is off-kilter. "By doing that we can replace the sense and thus improve people's balance," Lieberman says.

The technology was originally developed so that NASA could monitor balance problems in astronauts after they had returned from space. Zero gravity environments are tough on the vestibular system, which is one of the three systems that help a person maintain their balance. The other two are vision and the sensory receptors that maintain your sense of proprioception, where your body parts are in relation to each other.

NASA astronauts are tested for 16 days following their return from space; problems with balance have typically affected astronauts for up to ten days.

"We've developed the first algorithm that is really capable of not just looking at the pressure distribution of proprioceptors on the feet but also analyzing what that's saying," he says.

After Lieberman's own grandmother suffered a bad fall several years ago, he theorized that a balance diagnostic tool could help doctors catch balance problems early.

The iShoe insole measures and analyzes the pressure distribution of the patient's foot; this data could be used to provide the patient's doctor with better information about balance and even to alert family members if a fall has occurred.

Science fiction fans have probably heard of the magnetic-soled shoes from Murray Leinster's Space Tug (1953) or the digital running shoes from Bruce Sterling's Islands in the Net (1988). But feet can obviously provide more data.

Ideally, the iShoe insoles would be powered by foot motion; see the stillsuit desert boots for some of Frank Herbert's early thoughts about how it might be done.

Via MIT.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/4/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

Artificial, Implantable Kidney Prototype
'George Walt's corporate existence proved the workability of wholly mechanical organs...' - Philip K. Dick, 1964.

Ultra-short Pulse Laser Kills Bacteria In Vivo
'...coherent beams at precise wave-lengths passing through her flesh to zap foreign molecules within her body.' - Robert J. Sawyer, 2003.

Bioprint Prototype Handheld Bioprinter
'He turned the little art-derm nozzle...' - Philip K. Dick, 1960.

Altos Labs' Bezos Wants An Anti-Agathic (To Live Forever)
'So what we're looking for now is... an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug.' - James Blish, 1957.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Star Trek Voyager Replica Tricorder And Galaxy Quest
'They designed those controls after watching you...take her out!'

Rolls Royce Electric Airplane Breaks Records
'A white electric plane approached at great speed...'

Chang'e-5 Lunar Lander Seeks Water
'... get out the solar power apparatus and send it down to us from the air-lock by the crane.'

I Really Want A Folding Computer
'...A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled.'

A Kill Switch For Your Car?
'The car faltered as the external command came to brake...'

Scientifiction, Searchlight of Science
'And science goes on, with scientifiction as its searchlight.'

Wearable Biomedical Sensors Printed Directly On Your Skin
'The dragon is a skin computer... People put it on their arms and exchange personal data.'

Artificial, Implantable Kidney Prototype
'George Walt's corporate existence proved the workability of wholly mechanical organs...'

Ultra-short Pulse Laser Kills Bacteria In Vivo
'...coherent beams at precise wave-lengths passing through her flesh to zap foreign molecules within her body.'

Bioprint Prototype Handheld Bioprinter
'He turned the little art-derm nozzle...'

Betty Crocker, The First Company Avatar
'After six months of surgery and psycho-conditioning, he was identical with the other 496 Mr. Prestos...'

Augmented Reality Book Covers Reveal The Inner Book
'The E-paper holograms leaped from lurid covers...'

The First Multi-User Hologram Table?
Let the Wookiee win.

Apollo 8 Astronauts Pass The Equigravisphere
'... divers other objects, firearms and bottles, abandoned to themselves, held themselves up as by enchantment.'

Stellar Pizza Is A Pizza Robot That Comes To You
'No hand touched the food...'

Yamaha MOTOROiD Living Motorcycle Experiment
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.