Lots of products are designed to help runners track their exercise: steps taken, speed, distance, and more. But the next generation of wearable Health Tech devices intended for runners are taking it up a notch to include information intended to prevent or detect injury. One example is the Stridalyzer smart insole system from ReTiSense.
These battery-powered insoles communicate wirelessly with a smartphone, and give you the basic information that you can get from many other fitness devices: pace, distance, time, stride length, stride rate, and more. It goes on to provide a measure of ground contact time, as well as pressure on different areas of your foot. It also provides an analysis of the stresses on your knees. The idea is that this can help you adjust your balance and running form to reduce the chances of injury, but it may also help runners evaluate and compare the fit and design of different running shoes. The system can also issue warning alerts if it detects a potentially harmful condition such as overexertion during your run. The rechargeable battery is designed to run for a week when used on a daily basis.
The basic system costs $100; the premium version costs $130 and provides additional analysis and a virtual coach feature. The product is scheduled to ship next month. This product is designed for runners, but it could also have applications for medical and clinical settings. The pressure analysis could be helpful for physical therapists and healthcare professionals in evaluating the gait of the elderly, stroke victims, or patients recovering from injuries. The fact that this is a consumer-grade product aimed at a mass market means that it is priced much lower than a similar device targeted at medical applications might be, and so may be useful in providing better treatment at a lower cost.