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Parkinson’s Disease Eased by Google Glass
More than 10 million people across the world are affected by Parkinson’s disease. This neurological condition impairs motor skills, sometimes making even the act of dialing a phone number a difficult task. As the disease progresses, the symptoms grow worse at the expense of the independence and social confidence of the affected individual.
However, new research may have found a way to help lengthen the independent lifestyle of those suffering from Parkinson’s: wearable computers.
Though that may sound like something from a science fiction movie, the reality is that we already have the technology. Newcastle University is testing Google Glass in this capacity.
Google Glass has many of the features you’d find on your smartphone. You can send a text, call a friend, search the Web and even get directions. The difference is that Google Glass is completely hands free. Worn like reading glasses, this technology displays information on the Glass.
The research team at Newcastle University is studying the effectiveness and usability of applications and systems designed for those who have the disease, according to Medical News Today.
The technology presents discreet prompts to individuals who are displaying typical Parkinson’s behaviors. If a person wearing Google Glass begins drooling, a prompt can remind him or her to swallow. A person can be reminded to speak up or take his or her medicine. If freezing occurs and a person falls, this person can tell the computer who to call for help.
“It is very early days – Glass is such new technology we are still learning how it might be used but the beauty of this research project is we are designing the apps and systems for Glass in collaboration with the users so the resulting applications should exactly meet their needs,” said Dr. John Vines, the research team’s leader.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.