GyroGlove is the wearable aiming to abolish the symptoms of Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s disease affects one in 500 people. This life-changing affliction has no cure, and it seems unlikely there’ll ever be a way to permanently reverse the degenerative disease. However, technology is paving the way for innovative solutions to make Parkinson’s sufferers’ lives easier, and one such ingenious device is the GyroGlove.
Created by London-based medical student Faii Ong, along with some help from his peers at Imperial College London, GyroGlove intends to be the makeshift cure for Parkinson’s sufferers. According to MIT Review, initial findings during GyroGlove’s test run saw a reduction in hand tremors by 90%.
GyroGlove uses mechanical gyroscopes to resist the wearer’s hand movements. When worn by someone with involuntary tremors, the gyroscope continually self-stabilises, ensuring shakes are largely negated. For Parkinson’s patients this means they can finally have some sense of normality in their lives, able to enjoy doing the things others take for granted every day. “GyroGlove will make everyday tasks such as using a computer, writing, cooking, and driving possible for sufferers,” explained Helen Matthews of the Cure Parkinson’s Trust to MIT Review.
After more than two years of development, GyroGlove still isn’t ready for market, although Ong is hopeful for a UK release before September. “Gyroscopes must be balanced properly according to the speeds at which they are operating,” explained Ong. “Simple as they are, being able to spin them silently and reliably at thousands of RPM is another key challenge.”
When GyroGlove does eventually come to market, Ong hopes it will arrive around the £400 to £600 mark. While that may sound expensive, compared to the continual cocktail of drugs Parkinson’s patients have to take daily, the cost of a wearable device is far cheaper, with far more immediate results. Ong also has plans to expand the technology to address tremors in other parts of the body, as well as moving it into new uses such as assisting a surgeon’s steady hand.
Self-stabilising technology for Parkinson’s patients isn’t completely new: last year saw the launch of Liftware and its self-stabilising spoon. Instead of gyroscopes to reduce tremors, it emulated self-stabilising cameras to create a steady eating utensil. However, when it comes to market GyroGlove should be the first truly life-changing wearable of its kind.