Google will help people suffering from Parkinson’s disease and tremors with a revolutionary spoon, that will compensate their hand’s weakness and tremors.
People who suffer from diseases like Parkinson’s have deformed fingers, which are weak when it comes to gripping things. In addition to that they also suffer from tremors which are difficult to control. This makes it difficult for them to complete basic tasks, like eating food without spilling it. Thankfully the good people at Google have decided to put their resources like technological superiority and money behind a unique spoon which will compensate for the hand’s trembling and allow people suffering from Parkinson’s to eat on their own.
The Liftware spoon’s technology senses how hands shake and instantly makes adjustment to regain balance. In the clinical trials the spoon showed a 76% reduction of shakes. In the past other device were used for people with tremors like pen grips, rocker knives and weighted utensils, but this is the first time that technology is used in any such equipment.
Jill Ostrem, a neurologist at the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center who specializes in movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and essential tremors welcomed Google’s initiative adding, “It’s totally novel. I have some patients who couldn’t eat independently. They had to be fed. And now they can eat on their own. It doesn’t cure the disease — they still have tremor — but it’s a very positive change.”
The spoon belonged to a small startup, Lift Labs, which was originally funded by the National of Institutes of Health. Google acquired this startup in September for an undisclosed fee.
“We want to help people in their daily lives today and hopefully increase understanding of disease in the long run,” Google spokeswoman Katelin Jabbari said.
Close to 10 million people around the world suffer from Parkinson’s disease or tremors, including Google co-founder, Sergey Brin’s mother. Brin, who has also donated 50$ million for the research for a cure to Parkinson’s disease, also has the mutation gene which makes the person’s having it highly susceptible to Parkinson’s disease. The spokesperson to Google however added that this was not related to the acquisition of LiftLabs.
LiftLabs founder has said that moving from small startup to a big company like Google has allowed him to be more creative and motivated. With the backing from the giants, he now intends to further improve Liftware by adding sensors to the spoon to help the medical researchers get a better understanding of the tremors.
The $295 spoon has so far been a revelation for a lot of patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease or tremors, allowing them to eat their food on their own and not be dependent on others.