WalkWise: Prevent Falls and Maintains Independence with a Smart Walker Attachment
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WalkWise: Prevent Falls and Maintains Independence with a Smart Walker Attachment

Peter Chamberlain, Founder& CEO, WalkWisePeter Chamberlain, Founder& CEO, WalkWise Peter Chamberlain, Founder and CEO of WalkWise, was a graduate student when he began working on a smart walker attachment; unusual for someone who was then a founding member of the MIT Hyper loop Team. Chamberlain chose to explore the idea after his grandmother, who was living independently at her home, suffered a catastrophic fall. She was not wearing her emergency pendant at the time and was thus not able to call for help. She lay on the floor with a fractured leg until found by her gardener.

The incident made Chamberlain think about a solution that would help ensure his grandmother’s safety. He also wanted to make sure that the solution would not hamper her mobility or restrict her in any manner. Tools such as emergency response pendants or smartwatches are often forgotten or intentionally left behind byolder adults. For example, they may not put on a smartwatch or pendant every single time they go to the bathroom at night. Chamberlain wanted to add a second line of defense to ensure his family was notified to a change in routine or potential emergency, such as the walker remaining stationary for an extended period of time. All of these requirements led to the conception of WalkWise.


WalkWise allows for daily walking goals, which helps people stay mobile and reduces fall risk by encouraging walker use

WalkWise is a smart walker attachment and corresponding service that sends activity, safety, and health data to the families and caregivers of walker users 24/7, all without the need for any wearable component. Using its patented algorithms, the company continuously analyzes data to provide alerts to families or caregiving staff about potential emergencies or illnesses. For instance, Chamberlain was able to promote early intervention for his grandmother’s UTI by noticing the sharp increase in her bathroom usage at night.

In essence, WalkWise tracks the activity of walker users tohelp families and caregivers understand unusual behaviors (inactivity, excessive night walking, or walker tip-overs). Specially built for seniors, this smart attachment promotes fitness and provides the family/caregivers access to the senior’s activity data on their phones through the app. “WalkWise allows for daily walking goals, which helps people stay mobile and reduces fall risk by encouraging walker use,” says Chamberlain.

WalkWise is attached to the wheel of an existing walker, just like a hubcap, and runs for about 12 months on two easily replaced AAA batteries. It takes 5 to 10 minutes to install WalkWise with its two components: the walker attachment and the Node that is plugged into the wall and connects to WiFi or a cellular network. Via the app, families, caregivers, and the seniors themselves can view activity levels, set up alerts, and configure settings. Senior living communities do not need to adopt any new workflows or applications, as WalkWise also integrates with phone systems to send alerts with an automated call or text message.

WalkWise has proven to be very effective for senior living facilities so far, especially in the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, where social distancing is necessary. Since families cannot visit their loved ones, WalkWise is helping them stay connected and understand day-to-day activity through the app. Additionally, limited staff at senior living communities and care centers may result in fewer safety checks and in-person touch points. WalkWise is playing a vital role in maintaining safety and health while communities deal with these operational difficulties. As a result, WalkWise is growing its userbase exponentially. They are even planning to expand the technology to wheelchairs and canes in the next 12 months. "We are starting a program with a health insurance company to get a better understanding of health-related data that can help people analyze when they actually require care and can save unnecessary healthcare spending or needless hospitalizations," says Chamberlain.

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WalkWise

Company
WalkWise

Headquarters
Fargo, ND

Management
Peter Chamberlain, Founder& CEO

Description
WalkWise is a smart walker attachment and corresponding service that sends activity, safety, and health data to the families and caregivers of walker users 24/7, all without the need for any wearable component. Using its patented algorithms, the company continuously analyzes data to provide alerts to families or caregiving staff about potential emergencies or illnesses. WalkWise empowers caregivers to preserve senior safety, health, and independence with their smart walker attachment