youtube video link: SmartHat
Rob and I developed the SmartHat for my father as a Christmas present. This 1 minute video shows him using it. This is not currently a Move Right Health product (it's not economical), but it illustrates the power of sensors to help people.
Problem: After developing osteoporosis, my dad had a hard time remembering to look up while walking. Looking down can cause dizziness and falls.
Solution: We decided to attach an accelerometer to a hat to trigger a recorded message to “Lift your head up, Grandpa”.
History: Unfortunately my dad developed acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a disease that progresses rapidly. In this video, he was just learning how to use a walker. He had to switch to a wheelchair a week later. He died 16 days after this video.
Video: Every time my dad drops his head, the Android Rob is carrying says “Lift your head up, Grandpa” and you see my dad lift his head; his expression is priceless! He talks about “this parade” because my mom is behind him and Rob is carrying the Android tablet (hopefully close enough for him to hear the reminder). A granddaughter says goodbye because she is off to a dance class. He is too weak to re-shoot the video clip.
Android solution (Rob): A Bluetooth accelerometer is attached to the hat and an Android delivers the message. Rob developed the communication layer of software for a class project at UCLA and borrowed the sensor over school break. He rushed to develop this application to give Grandpa his Christmas present as soon as it was ready.
iOS solution (Judy & Mike): Using the accelerometer that is built into the iPhone, we wrote a similar iOS app. It was halfway working when my dad became too weak to lift his head with the weight of the iPhone attached to the hat.
Notes: Perhaps we could have taped the Android to the walker, but Rob didn’t want his Android to get hurt in a moment of patient instability. When we thought of the gift idea six months ago, my dad did not need a walker.