Walking with MS

The winning idea had some tough competition. Take a look at Paadje.

Paadje is an idea designed to solve Giacomo’s challenge.

Giacomo’s wife Silien struggles with mobility. She’s unsure on her feet, often relying on the closest wall to find her balance, and regularly needs periods of rest. Whilst she won’t let this stop her from doing things, it does impose limits on the life they live together. Over the years, the pleasure they used to enjoy walking and travelling together, has faded.

About João’s idea

Paadje is a wearable gait assistance for those living with MS who experience mobility issues. The device improves gait by providing interactive visual cues while guiding them on a continuous path. Paadje is an interactive projector mounted on a belt that has built-in accelerometers, gyroscopes and pressure sensors.

Paadje can be used indoors, at home, and at work, but is also portable and can be attached to different surfaces. The device can be used as a wearable or stand-alone interactive tool for gait training and walking exercises. What’s more, the technology is connected to an app that provides feedback to healthcare professionals who can track their patient’s progress and develop their training.

Who is João?

João is a User Experience Researcher and Interaction Designer in London, predominantly designing for Healthcare and Wellbeing. He is especially interested in merging physical, digital and sensory experiences to provide valuable solutions for those who need it most. He believes that what makes design great, is its potential to turn conflict into new opportunities and is driven by the desire to make things better.

Let’s hear from João himself…

What inspired you to choose the brief you answered?

I actually have a personal connection to multiple sclerosis as my grandmother was diagnosed many years ago now, and I have seen her struggles on a daily basis. Of all the symptoms of the condition, mobility issues seem to have had the most profound effect on all aspects of her life, from getting up in the morning to getting out and about. So it was Giacomo’s challenge I felt closest to, as I want to help anyone living with MS to regain some independence.

Tell us about your idea and how it addresses Giacomo’s challenge.

A lot of research has proven that visual cues on the ground help people with gait issues to walk more easily. Paadje utilises this research to help users walk more confidently and safely by projecting images onto the floor. It is worn as a belt and has different pressure sensors that detect when the user is leaning forwards and provides a visual cue via interactive projections. Paadje has the potential to help people like Giacomo’s wife to build her confidence and regain her enjoyment of walking. And because it is very discreet, and only activated when needed, there is no reason for self-consciousness.

Paadje is about connectivity and interactivity

How do you think your idea will help thousands of people living with MS?

Paadje is inexpensive, it’s reliable, and discrete, and has already been proven to make a difference with mobility issues. With our new innovative approach, Paadje has the potential to become an essential part of life with MS. It can be used in daily life as well as to train patients in clinics via the app connection.

“Paadje has the potential to become an essential part of life with MS.”

And finally, what would you like to say to the voters?

There is data proving that the project works, because everything has been tested. The project is built on a solid foundation of research and knowledge, and with new, innovative technology there is so much more that can be achieved for people living with MS. Professionals in this area praise the project very much and agree that it could help many, many people.

What makes Paadje such a worthy runner-up?

Imagine not being able to move freely around your own home for fear of falling over? Imagine struggling to put one foot in front of the other? Paadje has the power to remove that fear and to help those living with MS regain confidence and self-esteem. The Paadje app can also help improve the relations between patients and physicians by helping them to develop new and more tailored training techniques together.

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition that affects around 2.5 million people worldwide.1 In MS, the body’s own immune system attacks the nerves in the brain so they can’t send messages properly, causing the disabilities associated with the condition.2 Symptoms vary from person to person and from day to day.2 It’s this unpredictability that means every day can pose a new challenge for those living with MS.

Find out more about life with MS

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References: 1. Prevalence and incidence of multiple sclerosis. MS Trust. Available at: Last accessed: August 2016. 2. Introduction to MS. MS Trust. Available at: Last accessed: August 2016.

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Your vote is in!

A big thank you for casting your vote and for playing a part in potentially changing the lives of thousands of people living with MS.

22 people have voted

The winner will be announced

Early 2017,

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