A California-based startup is working to solve problems associated with tremor, perhaps one of the most frustrating side effects of medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease.
Life Labs, which was acquired by Google in September, has developed technology that helps counteract the movements often exhibited by people with Parkinson’s disease or essential tremor. The Liftware spoon features a battery-operated attachment that balances the spoon bowl in order to minimize movement and give more control to the user.
Using hundreds of algorithms, the spoon senses how a person is shaking and makes immediate adjustments to stay balanced. The effects of the Liftware spoon were tested in a study which showed that the device reduced spoon bowl shaking by an average of 70%.
“I have some patients who couldn’t eat independently, they had to be fed, and now they can eat on their own,” Jill Ostrem, MD, a neurologist at UC San Francisco Medical Center, told the Associated Press. “It doesn’t cure the disease, they still have tremor, but it’s a very positive change.”
Now working out of Google’s research division, Google(x), the founders of Lift Labs are focusing on applying the technology more broadly, however their main motivation remains helping people affected by tremor live more independently.
The Liftware with soup spoon attachment sells for $295. Additional attachments are available for $19.95.
For more information about Lift Labs and Liftware, click here.