The spoon against tremor, a solution for Parkinson’s disease patients
Companies that invest in technologies currently aim to address the health problems associated with aging, like Parkinson’s disease that affects about 100,000 people in France and thousands of new cases occur each year; novelty this time is a spoon that aims to make life easier for people ill from Parkinson’s and help them eat, but also find a certain pleasure in eating more calmly avoiding they spill their food when eating.
The giant Google shows more interest in new technologies related to health and medical science , it starts developping other innovative products such as « smart » contact lens , calculating the glucose levels in the diabetics.
Google bought LiftLabs in 2014, a company specialized in the creation of new technologies and underlining his interest in biotechnology aiming to help people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
A very tiring disease, its main symptoms are three: slowness, difficulty of movement, muscle rigidity and tremor (resting on a regular basis at 4-7 cycles per second). Parkinson’s is a disabling disease for people who suffer from it because it creates difficulties in achieving the most everyday activities, like eating.
Parkinson’s patients have medical equipment needs as a hospital bed, a recovery bar, a bracket to help them up, a cane to help them move, even a walker, but also an anti-shake intelligent spoon.
Google currently provides anti-shake device that can improve the quality of life of millions of people. This device is a spoon that intelligently stabilizes human’s hand to improve the lives of patients. Mealtime will become a pleasure and stop being a source of stress and anxiety.
People willing to get that spoon called Liftware, must nevertheless pay 228 euros. It is possible to change the head of the Liftware LiftLabs, which may be used at the same time as a soup spoon, as a fork and key chain to facilitate the opening of locks.
Thanks to a mathematical calculation, spoon detects hand-shake and compensates them instantly; it stabilizes through a system powered by a battery.
The device comes in two parts: a removable spoon in order to be easily cleaned, and a thick line electronic sleeve, containing sensors, electronic chips and motors.
The developed electronics, sensors and mini motors, detect tremors and stabilize the head of the spoon in the opposite direction, essentially canceling the shaking of the arm and avoiding spilling the content of it.
The handle of the spoon contains an ultra-thin rechargeable battery with a battery life of seven days, allowing a constant repositioning of its interchangeable tip (spoon or fork), depending on the tremor of the user. It reduces 75% of the impact of tremors on the object. How it works? When sensors detect movement tremors, they reposition the spoon in the opposite direction to adjust the head.
Moreover, the spoon can connect via Bluetooth to the dedicated application called Lift Pulse, which measures the frequency and the amplitude of tremors taking into consideration the peak frequency, in order to customize the fit.
Diagram of the high-tech spoon
This original device launched by the US start-up has been tested by researchers at the University of Michigan with a dozen patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Their results show that the effects of tremors of the spoon would be reduced by 75% compared to a « normal» spoon and the difference are striking between a normal spoon and a high-tech spoon Lift Labs.
The sources :
FEDILA Akila, étudiante en Master 2 Gestion et Droit de l’économie numérique parcours Commerce Electronique à l’Université de Strasbourg