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Parkinson’s Awareness Month: AR is Now Helping People Living with Parkinson’s Disease

The partnership between StrydAR and Activelook technology has been a positive one that has allowed StrydAR to develop the World’s First pair of Parkinson’s Walking Glasses, a wearable mobility device that projects Visual Cues to facilitate mobility for people with Parkinson’s Disease

Neurological disorders are now the leading source of disability in the world, with Parkinson’s disease being the fastest growing. There are approximately 12 million people worldwide currently living with the disease and this number is expected to increase. Experts estimate that one in 37 people will develop Parkinson’s disease in their lifetime and one in 20 will be under the age of 40. Thanks to the partnership between StrydAR and Activelook, they can walk, exercise outside and instantly improve posture, balance and mobility, allowing them to live a more independent and meaningful life.

RGU Pilot Study

A small pilot study was conducted by Robert Gordons University involving people with Parkinson’s disease. Participants were assessed with and without glasses and then evaluated two weeks later. 5 of the 7 participants reported having perceived improvements including stability, confidence, balance and reduced cognitive load associated with walking.

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What is Visual Cueing

The practice of visual cueing has been used in physical therapy clinics around the world for decades. It involves drawing a path on the floor in front of the patient using “markers” such as tape lines or pieces of paper. This approach shows an instant improvement in the length and speed of the stride.

Flexible Motor Control is controlled by the Basal Ganglia which in turn, is fueled by Dopamine, people with Parkinson’s lose the ability to create Dopamine which is the cause of their mobility symptoms.

Neurologists believe that Visual Cueing works by bypassing the impaired Basal Ganglia, sending a signal directly to the Motor Cortex which instantly improves mobility.

Combining the look of Sunglasses with an Augmented Reality Module

The Activelook and StrydAR partnership means, StrydAR Glasses will be the first device on the market that can provide a versatile and effective means of delivering visual cues, in and out of the home setting. Giving people the opportunity to walk and exercise outside, allowing them to live a more independent and meaningful life.

According to Mr. E Bandeen of Aberdeen Scotland: “There is one aspect that I haven’t highlighted enough! It is ‘Parkinson’s freezing’, a condition where I feel my feet are stuck to the ground and I can’t move at all. This has been a serious problem in the past, but with the StrydAR Walking Glasses I estimate a 70-80% improvement.”

Features:

  1. Discrete
  2. Easy to use
  3. Wear & Go Technology
  4. 99 % invisible and stylish
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What is Parkinson’s disease?

Neurological disorders are now the leading source of disability in the world, with Parkinson’s disease being the fastest growing. There are approximately 12 million people worldwide currently living with the disease and this number is expected to increase. Experts estimate that one in 37 people will develop Parkinson’s disease in their lifetime and one in 20 will be under the age of 40.

Medication is used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s, but at this time there remains no cure for this debilitating disease.

The main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:

  • Involuntary shaking
  • Muscles Stiffness
  • Shuffling Walk
  • Slowness of movement
  • Freezing of Gait (FOG) – when the person can’t move and feels like they are stuck to the floor

By projecting an “Augmented Marker” into a specific part of the user’s field of view, then using a process called “Focused to Infinity” the visual cue is displayed as a hologram that appears three meters in front of the wearer, instantly improving the Posture, Balance and Mobility of most people.

Many people with Parkinson’s are extremely self-conscious of their condition, which ends up in them becoming insular, staying at home and isolating themselves away from their community, which not only speeds up the progression of the disease it also removes their independence and puts responsibilities and pressure on their family members.

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Remaining undetected is a particular benefit that is especially meaningful to the Parkinson community. That’s why glasses have been designed to be practically indistinguishable from a pair of ordinary sunglasses, allowing the wearer to walk around without their disability being detected.

The Activelook and StrydAR partnership means StrydAR Glasses will be the first device on the market that can provide a versatile and effective means of delivering visual cues, in and out of the home setting. Giving people the opportunity to walk and exercise outside, allowing them to live a more independent and meaningful life.

Wearing the glasses will reduce incidents of falling and greatly improve: Independence, Quality of Life, Physical Activity, Social Interaction, Mental Health, Mood, even Cognitive Function.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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