Queensland company launches world’s first technology to alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
April 11, 2013: Brisbane based technology company Bright Devices and Australian Parkinson’s disease specialist Dr Rodney Marsh have today launched a world first product to assist in alleviating one of the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.
Agilitas is an Australian designed, world first, visual cueing device that is designed to assist people who experience mobility impairment such as freeze of gait (FoG).
“FoG impacts approximately 28, 000 Australians with Parkinson’s Disease. It can make it difficult to walk and undertake daily activities, said Dr Marsh.
“FoG can also lead to imbalance and falls and ultimately can lead to a severe loss of independence for the sufferer. “
Dr Marsh envisioned the concept for an automatic device to overcome FoG and it was then developed by Brisbane based, award –winning development and commercialisation firm e3k. e3k is the New Product Division of Gilmore Engineers Pty Ltd. The Managing Director and President, Dr Duncan Gilmore, established Bright Devices to commercialise Agilitas and has been the project director for many advanced products.
“By using Agilitas users can reduce and eliminate the need for a cane, walker or wheelchair. Users can lessen reliance on carers, and be more confident that they will be able to quickly manage a freeze at home or in public,” said Dr Gilmore.
“Critically Agilitas can also decrease the chance of freeze-related injuries from falls.”
How does Agilitas work?
A wearable motion sensing device, Agilitas uses a patented method to automatically detect when the user starts to freeze. The device projects a red dot onto the ground, creating a visual cue to the brain to break the freeze and allow the wearer to continue walking.
For people experiencing symptoms of walking difficulty, visual cueing in the form of an object or projected light on the ground in front of them can assist their mobility.
“During a freezing of gait episode, the neural pathway to instruct your body “to walk” is obstructed. But when you see a visual cue, it activates the visual sensory receptors in your brain,” Dr Marsh said.
Agilitas works in both manual and automatic modes. In automatic mode Agilitas will detect a freeze and automatically turn on. In manual mode, the wearer switches the laser on by tapping it. This is convenient for users when they are likely to suffer frequent FoG episodes such as walking around furniture. Automatic mode also allows users to adjust levels of sensitivity.
Ongoing management of Agilitas will be conducted by Brisbane-based technology company, Bright Devices. The company’s key focus is to reduce the social impact of neurologically based movement disorders by providing the best in technology. Agilitas is a registered trademark of Bright Devices.
Bright Devices Pty Ltd operates in close alliance with research and development consultancy Gilmore Engineers Pty Ltd, and the product design and development group e3k, an award-winning research, development and commercialisation firm led by Dr Duncan Gilmore, with a 27 year trading history.
Agilitas is a smart device that will revolutionise the world of people suffering from freezing of gait and other symptoms of mobility impairment associated with Parkinson’s Disease.
Agilitas is brought to you by Bright Devices Pty Ltd, an Australian technology company formed to improve the quality of life for people with movement disorders.