A startup called Naboso Technology developed a customized footwear insole that is reportedly able to improve balance and stability for people suffering from Parkinson’s
Footwear integrated with in-built laser-pointing tech and robotic components is gaining significant traction, since recent past. Such advanced smart shoes are focused on offering treatment for various diseases. A startup called Naboso Technology reported novel approach that is less hardware intensive. According to its podiatrist creator, it works by hacking the human body by stimulating the nervous system via the bottom of the foot. A textured insole can reportedly help improve balance and stability for people with Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and other associated neurological disorders.
“The Naboso Technology insoles and mats uniquely stimulate the skin on the bottom of the feet to improve balance, posture and function,” Dr. Emily Splichal, founder of Naboso. “The skin on the bottom of the feet is sensitive to what’s called two-point discrimination, which is perceived as texture. Our insoles and mats have a two-point discrimination texture with a very specific height, shape and distance between each stimulus. Much like how our finger reads braille, our feet recognize that same pattern, which has an effect on connecting to your foundation, consciously feeling your feet again, and feeling more stable.”
According to the researchers, there is a wealth of scientific literature based on textured insoles and studies reported that different types of gait asymmetry can be corrected or improved in this way. This is noticeable in everyone from people who have suffered strokes to athletes, who can gain more even weight distribution and force output in their feet. However, Naboso claims that it is the first company to draw on this research for a commercially available product. However, not all the studies have reached same conclusions. A 2017, meta-analysis of some of the research in this area concluded that textured and stimulating insoles had ‘no effect’ on Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis patients. Currently Naboso’s products are introduced in the market and it is unclear if in-depth studies of their proprietary insoles yield different results.