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‘Smart socks’ to keep dementia carers on their toes by tracking patients’ stress levels

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“Smart socks” that track sweat levels, heart rate and motion are being given to dementia patients to alert carers if they are becoming distressed.

The unintrusive technology was developed by Dr Zeke Steer, of Bristol Universit. Dr Steer wanted to find a way to spot the early warning signs of distress, so carers or relatives could intervene with calming techniques to de-escalate the situation. 

The hi-tech hosiery - which look and feel like normal socks - use e-textiles to transmit data in real time to an app, which alerts carers when stress levels are rising.

The socks are now being trialled among mid to late stage dementia patients. Researchers think they will also help people with autism and other conditions that affect communication. 

Fran Ashby, manager from Garden House Care Home, in Bristol, said: “We were really impressed at the potential of assisted technology to predict impending agitation and help alert staff to intervene before it can escalate into distressed behaviours. 

“Using modern assistive technology examples, like smart socks, can help enable people living with dementia to retain their dignity and have better quality outcomes for their day to day life.”

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Source: The Telegraph, 9 May 2022

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