People suffering from Parkinson, essential tremor and other neurological disorders have a hard time keeping their spoon stable while eating which can be an everyday battle at least 3 times a day. But the solution for this problem comes from an unrelated situation. Around a decade ago, Anupam Pathak (Ph.D. student) from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, helped soldiers suffering from the problem of rifle barrel shaking when holding the gun. The same technique is now used in stabilizing the shaking while eating by developing an active cancellation hardware used in noise cancelling earphones.
The LiftWare Spoon developed by Lift Labs, founded by Anupam Pathak himself has tremor cancellation hardware installed inside which counter-balances the patients shaking of the hand and thereby allows them to eat the meals without any spills. This gives them the freedom to be self-feeding without being dependent on anybody. Combined with Lift Pulse app that measures tremor using sensors in your smartphone, the LiftWare Spoon is one medical gadget that you’ll love to have.
LiftWare Spoon will be available for purchase anytime in the next few months for an undisclosed price and to get all the mailing lists you can subscribe right over at their product page.
# According to Anupam Pathak
The basic issue I discovered is you can’t stop soldiers from trembling but you can accommodate it. With our device, we allow the hand to move but what you’re holding onto cancels its motion. Digital cameras already do this on a small scale so we’ve come up with technology to do it on a larger scale.
Our idea was not to stop the hand from shaking but to cancel its movement. That way, we can make our device really small, the size of an electric toothbrush, and you can use it every day.
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