Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder which affects the nerve cells and makes it impossible for the patients to move. Damaged posture and muscle tension cause them to lose balance and they face the risk of falling easily. They could also become frozen while walking and it will become difficult for them to regain their movement. All these problems could be overcome a bit using augmented reality technology along with dance. A Google Glass AR app has been developed which can be used to help patients suffering from Parkinson’s.
“Moving Through Glass”
Mark Morris Dance Group, based in New York launched Dance for Parkinson’s disease program, which is based on the idea that the training and movement used by professional dancers to develop coordination, power and balance, could also prove to be helpful for these types of patients. David Leventhal, the program director had applied for and got one of the five Explorer grants from Google for non-profit organizations to develop apps for Google Glass.
The group partnered with ad agency SS+K to design and develop this AR app which has been named Moving Through Glass. The app was developed to provide help to the patients 24/7.
Features of the App
To deal with difficulty in movement, the app could help patients do seated routines, first thing in the morning. Patients can do that right from their bed. They need to say “Ok, Glass… Warm me up.” Difficulty in maintaining body balance is another problem which can be fought with the AR app. As patients say “Ok, Glass… Balance me,” they can go through standing routines which will prep them up for walking. To unfreeze the patients in the middle of walking, they have to say “Ok, Glass… unfreeze me” and standing routines will take them out of a freeze gradually and help them resume their walking. With jerky movements, walking becomes difficult for patients suffering from Parkinson’s. As they use the app along with Google Glass and say “Ok, Glass… Walk with me,” they will get a walking guide which sets the pace to walk by providing visual stimulation with music.
Kevin Skobac, SVP, digital strategy and innovation at SS+K, said “Initially we built a very very detailed application, with a wide variety of controls and options. Our thinking was that these users would need to be able to minutely control and customize their experience. Very quickly, though, we realized that we needed instead to minimize required user inputs as much as possible. Ultimately, we created an application that can start a module and run a user through a full set of exercises with just two taps or, alternatively, two spoken commands.”
He added “Feedback from the medical community has also been tremendously supportive. Researchers at New York Presbyterian/Weill-Cornell Medical Center and Stanford University’s Movement Disorders Center have requested their own devices to test with patients. But most important and gratifying, has been the reaction from the Parkinson’s community. People with Parkinson’s who have used the application so far have been inspired by its ability to provide real-time, on demand assistance through a portable, intuitive interface.”
The app can be lent from MMDG and it is distributed through the Cornell Medical and Stanford’s Movement Disorders Center. If you need the app, you could request the agency for it.
What about you?
What’s your take on the augmented reality app? Will you be getting it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Image & Article Source – fastcocreate.com