Free Feet is a laser device attached to the shoe, which is designed to reduce gait freezing, a very common symptom of Parkinson’s disease. We have developed a small laser light device which acts as a visual cueing system for the brain. This laser assists overcoming freezing of gait (by approximately 40%, according to early test results). The device consists of a laser light, battery and tilt switch which are wired in a series circuit. The laser shines a red dot on the ground in front of the user which acts as a guide for the person to follow and reduce the severity and length of the freezing episode.
The product is an innovation which is easy to use, lightweight and it is extremely discrete in comparison to existing products. As a product it is also extremely versatile, and can be transferred from one shoe to another easily, making it a product which is universal for any shoe.
Our idea has the potential to revolutionise the ability of Parkinson’s sufferers and patients who have gait difficulties to have a better quality of life.
Our CEO Edel is 19 years old and is a third year university student, currently undertaking a Bsc in Biotechnology, and acting as Entrepreneur in Residence at NUI Galway. She started Free Feet as a project for the BT Young Scientist Award in 2013 at 15 years of age, and has been working on product and brand development since. She has steered the project through three years of monumental success, including winning the Student Enterprise Awards for Galway, the Best Individual Award at the BT Young Scientist, and representing Free Feet to international success at the Outbox Incubator in London. Edel has also been named on the Sunday Business post 30 under 30 list for 2016.
Our COO Aoife, a medical doctor, qualified with honours from NUI Galway in 2015, having competed for the Jack Flanagan Medal for Geriatrics. Our CTO Evan, is a biomedical engineering student who is working on developing our product!
We are crowdfunding for this project, because it really is our only option. We need to get our technology to the people who need it, as quickly as possible, and crowdfunding our project can help us in that. We are crowdfunding our project in order to develop our second prototype, and at present have received our sole funding from awards and bursaries.
If we are successful in our crowdfunding campaign the funds raised will be spent on developing our second, advanced prototype. This includes design refinement, prototype development, and IP & legal associated costs. At the moment we have a proof of concept prototype which is not suitable for larger scale testing, hence the need for device refinement.
Some of the risks and challenges associated with completing our project, include regulatory aspects, and the trialling of the device. However, we are working with advisors on this to reduce the risk to as minimal as possible.
We are deeply grateful for your interest in our project. Please back us so we can take Free Feet Medical from project, to product!
Many thanks from the Free Feet team,
Edel, Aoife & Evan