A new monitor developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers the most accurate walking speed measurement in a device to date. There are several on the market already, but this one is clocking in with a 95-98% accuracy.
Walking Speed and Overall Health
Such a monitor in an older adult’s home, for example, could transmit information to a service. That data could be used by doctors to diagnose serious ailments. Recent studies show that average walking speeds of less than 0.6 meters per second can be an indicator of failing health.
This new device is unique not just because it is the most accurate, but also thanks to its unobtrusive design. Patients do not need to remember to carry it around as it hangs on the wall and monitors their movements throughout their home.
It is based on WiFi signals at about 1% of a cell phone’s power. These reflect from the individual’s body, and the device can recognize that. It can even tell if someone has stopped moving and may be injured.
Using WiFi gives a much better reading of the actual speed than a simple step count, like already available trackers. This new device, called WiGait by its designers, is even more accurate than cell phone apps. These often do not work indoors.