Medical Device - Virtual Reality Glasses
Reduces cost of drug treatments using virtual reality environment for rehabilitation
Improves quality of life for patients by increasing their mobility
ParkWalker or INDIGO are OCC's virtual reality glasses and developed from the PARREHA project. Combining INDIGO with telematic support from skilled clinicians, easy secure messaging and conferencing for people with Parkinson's disease (PD). The Parkinson's Disease Society funded a 2-year clinical trial on this assistive walking device.
A wearable walking aid
A full presentation of the wearable aid is available (MS Word file). If you have a fast Internet connection you could also download the mpeg videos that accompany it. You will need a media player to play the following videos. A free download is available here: Windows media player
This first video (above) shows someone with Parkinson's disease (PD) walking without help and showing typical PD symptoms such as shuffling and bradykinesia. The subject then stands in front of a row of white pieces of paper laid on the floor and acting as a visual cue. In this subject the presence of suitable visual cues triggers kinesia paradoxa which is the apparent disappearance of the major PD symptoms, greatly increased mobility and a subjective feeling of well-being.
This second video (above) also shows someone with typical PD symptoms such as shuffling and bradykinesia walking without aid. The subject is wearing the headset of the PARREHA walking-aid but initially this is raised out of his field of view. Later in the video an assistant lowers the headset and the subject sees scrolling black and white stripes presenting visual cues similar to the pieces of paper in the first video. This also triggers kinesia paradoxa, greatly improving the subject's mobility.
Anyone who is interested in kinesia paradoxa and the wearable walking aid should be aware that the aid only helps a small percentage of people with PD in intermediate stages. However, it is not known how large this group of people is or what the typical characteristics of their PD is. It is also not clinically understood how kinesia paradoxa works.
The PARREHA project was a three year EU-funded R&D project which developed and tested prototype devices to aid people with Parkinson's disease and the PD research community. PARREHA explored three key ideas: a wearable walking aid, a virtual reality exercise environment and care and assessment via videoconferencing. The project partners set up ParkAid, a company dedicated to developing assistive aids for people with PD. Currently ParkAid is concentrating on the wearable walking aid, so further development of the virtual reality exercise environment and videoconferencing is negligible.
The ParkService Project
INDIGO (or ParkWalker) is our prizewinning software in the assistive technology field.
eTen, the EC's programme promoting the deployment of European networked services, has lent its support to ParkService. eTen funded an 18-month project to validate the market for this service.
We are analyzing, networking and demonstrating pilot sites in Germany, Italy and Greece to establish our route into the European health market.. We aim to bring people with Parkinson's disease, their carers, doctors and therapists together with a new innovative service which raises the quality of life of everyone affected by this disease.
Our ParkService partners:
- Parkaid owners of INDIGO and ParkService
- Schneckenhaus self-help and campaigning group run by and for people with Parkinson's disease
- La Fondazione Grigioni per il Morbo di Parkinson the Italian foundation for research into Parkinson's disease
- Institute of Neurology a world leader for neurological research at University College London
- Institute of Communication and Computer Systems at the National Technical University of Athens and one of the inventors of INDIGO
- Oxford Computer Consultants Ltd a UK software consultancy, an inventor of INDIGO and investor into ParkAid
- IES Solutions Srl, an Italian technology consultancy with a long involvement in INDIGO and Parkinson's disease
To find out more and follow our progress visit Parkservice