Assistive Technology For Parkinson’s Disease

Assistive Technology For Parkinson’s Disease

Assistive Technology For Parkinson's Disease

Assistive Technology for Parkinson’s Disease

You’ve finished your coffee at your local cafe, now comes the hard part: Getting out of the chair and walking through a maze of obstacles of small children, tables and waiters. You reach for your glasses and with their new in built assistive technology for Parkinson’s disease what was hard now appears a lot simpler.
That’s the position proposed by the latest partnership between Dance For PD founders, SS+K and Google Glass.

By wearing Google Glass an augmented reality provides aid, cueing and initiation directions for people experiencing Parkinson’s Disease symptoms.

What Is Assistive Technology for Parkinson’s Disease?

Assistive technology may be classified as a device or system which provides a person with practical solutions to everyday life activity challenges.

In this case the Google Glass app focuses on four challenges which people with Parkinson’s disease commonly experience.The advisory team in the development of the assistive technology for Parkinson’s disease includes researchers from New York Presbyterian/Weill-Cornell Medical Center and Stanford University’s Movement Disorders Center.

But there are many aspects of a person’s life that can be impacted by PD and where a wearable aid may be of help

  1. Movement: The app targets the difficulty people have in initiating movement
  2. Balance: Posture, weakness and loss of coordination may add up to a loss of balance and potentially a fall
  3. Walking: A person’s gait may be uneven, too small or jerky. Achieve a smooth and regular gait is the apps goal
  4. Posture: Identifies or tracks changes in a person’s posture
  5. Freezing: At the start of movement or mid movement freezing can affect the smooth performance of walking or any other movement task.
  6. Risk: Report or alerts when a person may have had a fall
  7. Medication: Prompts to support regular and consistent medication based on a person’s symptoms or time of day
  8. Think and Memory: prompts, cues, and reminds of personal actions or tasks that need to be completed

What Is The Scope and Evidence For This Assistive Technology for Parkinson’s Disease?

No doubt, it will be good to see more research and data on the uptake and use of the apps like this Google Glass. We’d be especially interested in the high level research with evidence which demonstrates the improvements to people who use the app or app equivalents, specifically with what symptoms of PD.

Promising research has focused on medication timing and dosage in responses to movement, sleep and posture data.

Doing so will make a powerful case for improving therapy access for people affected by PD.


You’d appreciate PD symptoms have commonly movement and non movement aspects of Parkinson’s Diseases so the questions for us is – will an assistive technology for Parkinson’s disease be applicable to all?

It is worth noting a consumer available Google Glass was halted in 2015 and is not on the market at present.

A recent JAMA article describes in more detail the innovative use of Google glasses augmented reality to help manage Parkinson’s disease. You can read the article here: JAMA. 2017;317(4):346-348. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.18122.  

See more at :

Here’s More OT Brisbane Parkinson’s Disease Resources:

Contact Us Today or phone us at 1300 783 200 to discuss your Parkinson’s Disease situation.


The Occupational Therapy Blog is a news and health promotion initiative.  It by no means aims to be a source of medical or therapeutic advice. We enjoy sharing information and will attempt to curate it as best we can.  You’d appreciate we like to lighten our blog articles which often tackles very serious issues. It’s our way of sharing.   The information contained on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, or intervention.  Always seek the advice of your GP or qualified therapist with any questions you may have regarding your personal situation. Never substitute or delay seeking professional advice because of information you’ve read on this website.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top