One in 500 people suffers from Parkinson’s disease. Faii Ong was a 23-year-old medical school student when he was assigned to take care of a 103-year-old woman with Parkinson’s. After watching her struggle to eat a bowl of soup, Ong made it his mission to find a way to alleviate hand tremors, a symptom of Parkinson’s. He found the solution to his mission in physics.
Ong, the founder of GyroGlove, told MIT Technology Review, “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 took his idea, and founded a team with students from Imperial College London, and they performed tests in the university’s laboratory. In bench top tests, they discovered there was a 90% decrease in hand tremors with the use of his technology. These findings resulted in the creation of GyroGlove, a battery-operated glove that alleviated hand tremors.
Helen Matthews of the Cure Parkinson’s Trust told MIT Technology review that GyroGlove is very promising, and will be able to help those with Parkinson’s Disease perform everyday functions.
GyroGlove still needs some minor adjustments before it is available on the market, but Ong is optimistic it will launch before September of 2016. The expected retail price of GyroGlove is £400 to £600 ($550 to $850).
There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s Disease. People who suffer from it must regularly take an expensive drug cocktail; over time, the effectiveness of the medication diminishes. GyroGlove may minimize the medication required, as well as help patients save money.