Someone has found a way to treat the tremors associated with Parkinson’s Disease: not with medicine, but with a glove and gyroscopes.
Faii Ong came up with the the GyroGlove while a medical student at Imperial College London, after seeing a patient suffering from Parkinson’s attempting to eat soup. Not content with there being no solution to the problem, Ong set to work to create one.
After sifting through solutions that used rubber bands, weights, and even hydraulics, Ong settled on gyroscopes.
“My idea was to use gyroscopes to instantaneously and proportionally resist a person’s hand movement, thereby dampening any tremors in the wearer’s hand,” Ong said.
Taking that idea, Ong fitted a battery-powered, dynamically-adjustable gyroscope and circuit board to the back of a glove. When switched on the gyroscope whirs to life and stabilises the wearer’s hand.
Preliminary test results show tremors are reduced by as much as 90%, but it does so rather nosily according to Ong.
“Simple as they [gyroscopes] are, being able to spin them silently and reliably at thousands of RPM is another key challenge,” says Ong.
There’s also the matter of calibration. Gyroscopes need to be calibrated for the speeds at which they operate. This means that users will likely have to have a GyroGlove tailored for them.
Sarah Webb, founder of the South London Younger Parkinson’s Network, explained how the glove would aid those with Parkinson’s.
“People with Parkinson’s take a cocktail of drugs daily, which over time won’t be so effective,” said Webb. “The GyroGlove is an exciting and a completely different concept: something we can wear, something we can feel the benefits of immediately”, she concluded.
Ong and his team at Imperial College London hope to iron out problems and launch the GyroGlove in the UK for £400 to £600 (R8 100 – R12 000) in September this year.[Via – HackRead] [Image – GyroGlove]