Newcastle University has recently begun a field trial to see whether Google Glass will be able to assist people with Parkinson’s. In this case Newcastle University was gifted five pairs of Glass which researchers are using to see whether they can be used to help with independence.
The research teams are working with volunteers with Parkinson’s ranging in age from 46-70. The initial work was being done to determine the acceptability of Glass. And at this point the teams have moved onto the next stage of the project, which is putting Glass to use to offer “discreet prompts linked to key behaviours typical of Parkinson’s.”
Some of these include reminders to speak up, or to swallow to prevent drooling. Along with reminders specific to Parkinson’s, the team also has Glass being used for more personal items such as when to take medication and for any upcoming appointments. There was also mention of using the motion sensors in Glass to support people with “freezing.” It was said freezing is a “behaviour caused by motor blocking,” which is another common symptom with Parkinson’s.
Anyway, for now the study is still said to be in the “very early days.” But despite that, it appears there is some hope moving forward.
“What was really encouraging from this early study was how well our volunteers took to the wearable technology and the fact that they could see the potential in it.”
Some of the future work involved with this trial will include development on new apps. The team appears hopeful on that front as well, noting how they “are designing the apps and systems for Glass in collaboration with the users so the resulting applications should exactly meet their needs.”
SOURCE: Newcastle University