The smartphone app provides customized training to improve walking and prevent freezing of gait (FOG). It was developed at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in collaboration with the European Union. Prof. Jeffrey Hausdorff
, Director of the Medical Center’s Center for the Study of Movement, Cognition, and Mobility
, states, "This is important news for the elderly population and patients with Parkinson's disease."
The Center, part of the Department of Neurology, continues to make medical breakthroughs, developing innovations designed for adults over age 60, who, in general, are at risk for falls, and for Parkinson's disease patients. This joint project with European medical centers funded by the EU was made possible by innovative research conducted at the center run by Professor Jeffrey Hausdorff and Dr. Anat Mirelman.
Cupid: an innovative application for customized training to improve gait
Using foot-based sensors that transmit patient gait data in real time to a smartphone, intelligent algorithms analyze the signals and detect freezing of gait in Parkinson's patients. Upon detecting a freeze, the system plays audio signals with a pace that personally suits the patient, providing an external rhythm to prompt him or her to begin walking again.
The app also features a number of patient treatment programs to practice walking and learn to prevent or shorten freezing situations, improve gait, and prevent falls.
According to Prof. Hausdorff, "About a third of people over age 60 experience problems walking and are at risk for falls. This innovative development is the unique integration of the most advanced technological tools that enable real-time medical treatment, identify dysfunction, and prevent falls. Ultimately, this medical technology prevents hospitalizations and health setbacks and improves quality of life for these populations."
The development is in its final research phases; the plan is for the system to be marketed to the public in mid-to-late 2015.
Patients interested in joining a study at this stage can call +972-3-694-7514/3.