Hope in a Glove for Parkinson’s Patients
A wearable device promises to help steady hand tremors by using an old technology - gyroscopes.
When he was a 24-year-old medical student living in London, Faii Ong was assigned to care for a 103-year-old patient who suffered from Parkinson's, the progressive neurological condition that affects a person's ease of movement. After watching her struggle to eat a bowl of soup, Ong asked another nurse what more could be done to help the woman. "There's nothing," he was grimly told.
Ong, now 26, began to search for a solution that might offset the tremulous symptoms of Parkinson's, a disease that affects one in 500 people, not through drugs but physics.
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.
Together with a number of other students from Imperial College London, Ong worked in the university's prototyping laboratory on an early prototype of a device, called GyroGlove.
In 2014, Ong's company, GyroGear, made it to the finals of OneStart, the world’s largest biotech business competition. Last year the team was named inaugural champion of the F Factor, the European Union’s largest tech challenge, which was founded by X Factor music mogul Simon Cowell in an effort to discover and support a new generation of technology entrepreneurs.