“Will the Google Smart Spoon improve my life?”, the question crossed the mind of Thomas Jackson last week. Thomas Jackson, from Philadelphia, is one among the estimated 10 million people worldwide who suffer from essential tremors or Parkinson disease. What caused the question was the launch of Liftware spoons, by life sciences division of Google X.
The technology giant Google does not require any introduction. Google, the undisputed leader in internet related services and products, has a division Google X, which concentrates on making major technological advancements. Life sciences division of Google X conducts researches in life sciences. In September, Google acquired a start up firm in San Francisco called Lift Labs that has been carrying out researches on equipments to balance the tremors. The promoter Anupam Pathak along with his team also moved to Google.
Parkinsonian syndromes (PS) and essential tremor (ET) are two types of movement disorders. Common feature of these diseases is difficulty with movement. The movement gets worse as the age of the patient advances.
Liftware spoons do not cure the disease, but reduce shaking of the spoon by an average 76%. Complex algorithms are employed to analyze the movement of the hand and the shaking. Messages are passed on to the smart Liftware spoon which make automatic adjustments to balance the shaking. The launch price of the Liftware spoon is $ 295. The company is in the process of adding sensors to improve the performance.
Satisfactory feedbacks from the users reveal that the device with a fork attachment is a relief to patients. This is good news for Thomas Jackson and many others who are yet to make a try.
Divisions of Google X life sciences are also analyzing genome sequencing to study factors affecting heart diseases and ageing and on contact lenses capable of measuring glucose levels from tears. Let us hope that Google X life sciences succeeds in studying, analyzing and finding out solutions to the health challenges being faced by the humanity.