Μια συσκευή που θα σταματήσει το τρέμουλο του Πάρκινσον
The 23-year-old students of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thomas Bikias, Roni Lassi and Aggeliki Papathanasiou, created Tremor FreeMe, a start-up company focusing on Parkinson’s in order to reduce or even eliminate the symptom of trembling in patients.
This is a device that will be worn as a watch and stops the shaking, helping patients with Parkinson’s, indigenous terror or any other form of trembling to regain their daily routine and their lost self-confidence. This device achieves a reduction in trembling by understanding which muscles are inadvertently triggered due to the condition, and by activating the opposite, thus providing a “thrill” that stabilizes the hand.
“Living with my grandfather who has Parkinson’s I saw how many practical difficulties he was facing daily life and how much it also affected him on a psychological level,” says Thomas Bikias to Athens Voice. “This, coupled with our collaboration with the Biomedical Technology Laboratory of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, has led to research into a way to help these people and to offer, if any, a solution beyond the expensive and heightened side effects of medicines and surgeries. Thus, in the wake of the confirmation by our professor, Mr. Hadjileontiadis, that this could work, we were led to Tremor FreeMe. “
The innovation on this is located in many places. The children propose a complete solution to the problem as, apart from stabilizing the hand through a device that will be elegant and will not disclose the patient, they have developed an application that communicates with it. Through the application, each device is tailored to the individual patient’s needs individually, through artificial intelligence methods, providing personalized care that increases the rate of tremor reduction.
According to Thomas, Greek universities provide a very high cognitive level that allows the conception and implementation of an idea. “But the difficulties that exist are many, mainly resulting from financial, advisory, bureaucratic factors, and one faces them when they get to the point where they want to get the idea on the market. Unfortunately, the Greek economy does not facilitate the situation, but I do not think it is prohibitive as everything can work out by working long hours and asking for help from the right people. “
Starting is never easy, but dedication to vision and motivation for creation is a good sign that there is a prospect. Besides, everyday life in Greece, as it is structured in 2018, shows that even in the crisis an original idea can help many people but also become a profitable business.
“For me, as an engineer “doing business” means that a very good idea that I thought and fabricated can exit the lab and reach a point where it is used by many people. And that’s the target for the device we’re developing. In other words, it can serve as many people as it’s needed in the world “.
Parkinson’s is a subtle topic like all the health problems, which has been a taboo and has a psychological impact on patients. “Some symptoms, such as the difficulty in walking or talking and the trembling in the hand are those that badly alienate the average person, who does not know what they are from, from the patient,” says Thomas.
Currently, the device is in a laboratory prototype that has been tested in patients in hospitals in Thessaloniki and has positive results. At the same time, work is continuing to integrate technology and create a product that can reach the patient as soon as possible. The team collaborates with two doctors in hospitals in Thessaloniki and has the technical support of the AUTh biomedical engineering workshop.
The group, with this technology, won the first place in the Cosmote Hackathon 2018 innovation contest and were recently selected at OK!Thess, a business acceleration program in Thessaloniki for education and mentoring.