New Wearable Device for Parkinson’s Patients Brings Hope

Healthcare wearables are becoming more and more popular as we begin to see all the advantages they bring. Hope is now coming in the form of a glove for Parkinson patient’s as it looks to reduce tremors using built-in gyroscopes. Parkinson’s affects one in every 500 people and is a degenerative disease. Hand tremors are one of the most common symptoms that Parkinson’s patients suffer from, and up until now, there has been very little hope of stopping this.

Enter the GyroGlove. This glove could be the next best thing since sliced bread for minimizing hand tremors in Parkinson’s patients. It was designed by a Dr. Faii Ong and took hours of evaluating how elastic bands hydraulics, springs, weights and soft robotics all worked in order to come up with his masterpiece. Ong said that he got his inspiration to make the device when he was a medical student caring for an elderly Parkinson’s patient.  He wasn’t accepting that there was nothing we could do to help patients with hand tremors.  And he was right not to.

The GyroGlove, designed for Parkinson’s patients, uses gyroscopes to resist a person’s hand movement, thus dampening any tremors

Ong’s GyroGlove has a design that’s largely based on the workings of a childhood toy – the mechanical gyroscope. He says, “Mechanical gyroscopes are like spinning tops: they always try to stay upright by conserving angular momentum. 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.” He believes the glove is the first of its kind, and in benchtop tests, results reveal that tremors are reduced by as much as 90 percent when wearing it.

The design of the glove is simple and just uses a small, adjustable gyroscope that sits within a plastic casing on the back of the hand. When it’s turned on the gyroscope whirs into action and pushes back against the wearers’ movements as it tries to the right itself.  Although there are still some minor adjustments to be made to the GyroGlove in terms of its size and noise, it’s essentially ready to go and could make everyday tasks so much easier for those suffering from Parkinson’s disease. There is no official launch date as of yet, and a price for the device is still to be determined. However, estimates suggest we may see the GyroGlove as early as September and at the cost of around $550 to $850, but we shall just have to wait and see.

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