Researchers Aim to Find Out if Google Glass Can Help Parkinson’s Patients

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological condition that results in the loss of motor controls, including tremors and slowness of movement. Currently, the the disease affects up to 10 million people. Medication is available to help, but requires careful timing when being consumed.

Parkinson’s patients have difficulty doing certain things due to the fact that they lose motor controls. While using a cell phone might seem easy to you, a Parkinson’s patient can find it incredibly challenging to use something as simple as a cell phone. Not only that, but some Parkinson’s patients experience a terrifying symptom of freezing-up and become unable to move.

Google Glass Orange Shades

Newcastly University has been running a study and some workshops to see how Google Glass can help Parkinson’s patients and so far the people who have been participating in the study have enjoyed the device.

“I was absolutely mesmerized by the hugely positive reaction, I don’t think I had ever come across that in the last five or ten years,” said John Vines, senior research associate in computer science at Newcastle University and co-author of the study,

The thing that the people who participated in the study enjoy the most is the voice commands. Remember how we mentioned that it’s hard for some Parkinson’s patients to use a cell phone? Well, they don’t have to struggle with a cell phone when they can voice dial / voice email people.

Google Glass also allows patients to regain a little bit of their life back. The fear of freezing up, or experiencing a bad symptom while out and about is REAL. Google Glass can help ease that fear, because of the voice commands. Even if someone freezes up, or is experiencing a bad symptom — they don’t have to struggle dialing a phone number, they can just voice one of their contacts.

Google Glass can also be used to stream to a home computer where a relative can watch to make sure patients are having fun outside and that there is nothing wrong.

Really though, the main focus of the study and the device is to try to create a way for wearers to monitor symptoms.

“Small sensors in the computer could measure eye and head movement and alert users if they start to exhibit more symptoms so they can either take more medication or get to a safe place before more of their symptoms return and render them immobile.”

The authors of the study plan on presenting their findings at the Association for Computing Machinery conference at the end of the month. An interesting study and we definitely can’t wait to see the results.

Source: ABC News

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