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GPS shoes to monitor Alzheimer's patients

Satellite navigation can be used for more than just route planning

In a move to help elderly people suffering from Alzheimer's Disease, a US firm is working on a pair of shoes fitted with a GPS chip that will be able to track them if they wander too far from home.

New Jersey firm Aetrex is building the monitoring shoes in conjunction with GTX Corp, a GPS specialist from Los Angeles. The companies say they'll begin testing by the fourth quarter of this year.

Safety net

As Alzheimer's sufferers are often at risk of wandering and becoming lost or getting into danger, Aetrex says monitoring their location through GPS may be an effective safety net.

However, instead of constantly recording the location of the shoes, it seems likely a so-called 'geo-fence' will be used to restrict the wearer to a fixed distance from their home.

Should the GPS signal indicate the person has left the safe zone, only then will a warning message be sent to a family member or caregiver.