Redesign of Kinect to detect, prevent Parkinson’s freezing of gait (UK)

Two researchers at London’s Brunel University have repurposed a common Microsoft Kinect game controller to detect and help prevent the freezing of gait (FOG) that is a common result of Parkinson’s disease. FOG strikes without warning–the muscles freeze and the sufferer generally falls. To both detect falls and help prevent them, the Brunel researchers mounted a laser projector on the ceiling controlled by the Kinect. If a fall happens, it initiates a video conference call to assist the person. The prevention comes in with projecting visual cues–lines ahead on the floor, which has been found to help unfreeze the muscles. According to the Brunel release, it has passed proof of concept stage and is moving to patient trials. The further proof will be if this can scale. Brunel University News

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