GPS shoes under development may help locate wandering Alzheimer's patients

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Shoes protect our feet, but who knew they might serve to protect seniors? A sophisticated tracking device in footwear could, one day, help locate wandering Alzheimer's disease patients, according to a news report.

By embedding a GPS locator inside a pair of shoes, developers at GTX Corp., a GPS technology firm, and Aetrex Worldwide, a global shoe manufacturer, hope to prevent seniors with cognitive disabilities from wandering off and getting lost or injured, the Agence France-Presse reported. In addition to GPS-wired shoes, the companies have developed a "geo-fence" which, if crossed, will alert certain caregivers and family members, and automatically send a "Google Map" update with the patient's location to within 30 feet.

One adviser with the project said this product would have the advantage over other tracking devices because Alzheimer's patients typically retain the memory of getting dressed, and would be less likely to remove and discard their shoes. The companies expect to begin product testing during the fourth quarter of this year, reports AFP.