Researchers of the Newcastle University are working on ways to help out patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease and dementia through Google Glass. They are trying to find how such patients can retain their independence with Google Glass. For this investigation purpose, Newcastle University has got five pairs of Google Glass as a donation from Google, so that researchers can carry out their study without any difficulty. Up to 10 million people all around the world are affected by Parkinson’s disease, and face many physical disabilities like motor symptoms as well as emotional disabilities like loss of independence, embarrassment, etc.
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The researchers are working with a group of people suffering from Parkinson’s disease and within the age group of 46 to 70 years. The examiners have found out that with Google Glass, these patients can retain their independence for a longer period of time than is usual in their case. The freezing behavior, which is the characteristic of this disease, can be avoided by sending out prompts to the patients using this smart wearable device. Some of the prompts include reminding the patients to speak louder when they start murmuring or to swallow their food, so that it doesn’t drip down.
According to Dr. John Vines, the leader of the study, Glass is a new technology and they are still learning how to use it for solving their purpose. He also added that the best thing of the project is that they are designing the apps for Glass by collaborating with the users, which will meet their needs exactly through the resultant apps.
Patients suffering from dementia can also find help from Google Glass through reminders about upcoming appointments and the medications they need to take.
This is the first scientific experiment in the UK with Google Glass. However, the research made by Newcastle University is not the first one in relation to using smartphone glasses to help out patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
In 2013, researchers from the University of Twente, in Netherlands had stated that they were developing a smartphone glass similar to Google Glass in October. This wearable device could improve the posture of the patients who suffered from this disease and reduce their risk of falling.
According to a senior research communications manager at Parkinson’s UK, Claire Bale, if Google Glass can actually help such patients, many applicants could be helped.
Bale also added that this new study with Google Glass is a wonderful example of how a wide variety of problems can be handled to improve the lives of such patients, with new technologies. But to make the most of these new technologies, it is necessary that the researchers partner with people who are actually suffering from Parkinson’s.
If this study of Newcastle University becomes successful, it can really help the patients suffering from dementia and Parkinson’s.
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