Brain and Body

“Smart” Spoon Could Change the Lives of Parkinson’s Sufferers

December 31, 2015 | Kelly Tatera

Photo credit: Brian MK Allen/YouTube

The impressive gadget smooths out hand tremors, enabling people to steadily eat.

According to the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area, it’s estimated that at least one million people in the United States suffer from Parkinson’s disease, and roughly six million people around the world. In fact, Parkinson’s is second only to Alzheimer’s disease as the most common neurodegenerative disease.

Since Parkinson’s leads to difficulty and shakiness with various motor skills, people with Parkinson’s often have trouble with tasks like writing, brushing teeth, or shaving. Eating can become a particularly difficult task since it becomes hard for Parkinson’s sufferers to steadily pick up a spoon full of food.

Now, Liftware, a company comprised of scientists and engineers working to develop technologies for people with Essential Tremor and Parkinson’s Disease, has designed a high-tech tremor-stabilizing spoon to help people with the disease eat more easily.

According to Liftware’s website, the Liftware spoon handle “contains sensors that detect hand motion and a small onboard computer that distinguishes unwanted tremor from the intended movement of the hand.”

As shown in the peer-reviewed study published in the journal Movement Disorders, Liftware automatically stabilizes and shakes 70 percent less than the user’s hand.

Check out the video to see the high-tech spoon working its magic. This innovation could truly change the lives of individuals suffering from Essential Tremor and Parkinson’s Disease.

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