The floors have ears. Biomedical engineer Majd Alwan and his colleagues at the University of Virginia have developed a device that analyzes the footstep patterns of the elderly to detect falls and give early warning of certain diseases. Unlike monitors that require users to wear sensors, walk on special platforms, or be videotaped, this device sits on the floor unobtrusively. The brick-size box contains a sensor that measures tiny vibrations and a microprocessor that learns a person’s normal walking habits and uses signal-processing algorithms to detect changes. If the person falls, or limps or shuffles-warning signs of diseases such as osteoarthritis or Parkinson’s-the monitor alerts a computer to send a message to a caregiver. The goal, says Alwan, is to “bring gait analysis out of the lab and into the home.” His team recently spun off a company to commercialize the device, which could be placed in homes and assisted-living facilities within a year.
Anti-aging drugs are being tested as a way to treat covid
Drugs that rejuvenate our immune systems and make us biologically younger could help protect us from the disease’s worst effects.
These materials were meant to revolutionize the solar industry. Why hasn’t it happened?
Perovskites are promising, but real-world conditions have held them back.
The baby formula shortage has birthed a shady online marketplace
Desperate parents just want to feed their babies. They’re having to contend with misinformation, price gouging, and scams along the way.
I tried to buy an Olive Garden NFT. All I got was heartburn.
Our newest issue spells out what you need to know about the dizzying world of digital money.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.