This device will let you feel what it’s like to suffer from Parkinson’s
November 24, 2017
Imagine actually feeling the symptoms of a loved one with a Parkinson’s disease.
Soon you might be able to, with help of a device from Toronto-based design consultancy Klick Health. The team of doctors, engineers and designers came up with a way to mimic the feeling of having a Parkinson’s tremor.
The device is not yet approved for the commercial market, and is still being tested in clinical trials.
But when I tried it at a medical conference called Exponential Medicine in San Diego, I found the experience surprisingly painful and emotional.
What’s particularly remarkable about it — and speaks to the broader goal of bringing more empathy to medicine — is that a user can request to feel the precise tremor of a loved one that they’re caring for. The idea is that it will inspire a caregiver to feel a stronger personal connection to the person with the disease. “To have the exact symptoms mirroring the person across from you certainly has a level of empathy that’s even greater than having a generalized symptom,” said Gautam Gulati, the company’s health innovator in residence and a physician, whose own father recently passed away from the disease.
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