GYENNO, a Chinese company that develops technologies to help people with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders, was showing off its Gait Aid Equipment package at the recent CES 2018 conference in Las Vegas. The company believes that Gait Aid, which consists of a number of devices that work together to influence how people walk, will help up to sixty percent of late-stage Parkinson’s patients that live with something called “gait freeze”.
Gait freeze is a momentary physical pause that people with Parkinson’s undergo after deciding to move. They expect their bodies to shift, but this doesn’t necessarily happen. The result is jerky, careful movements that project a lack of confidence in how one walks. While gait freeze is certainly unpleasant and frustrating, it can also lead to falls and accompanying injuries that can be even worse.
The Gait Aid Equipment features a bunch of devices that attach to the torso, legs, and/or a cane. The combination of which to use depends on the patient, but the idea is that the devices work together to generate visual, aural, and tactile signals that help the user improve their walking gait. The system uses computer learning methods to improve how it works for individual patients.
Although this product isn’t available yet, and we don’t have details of its working principles, here’s a sneak peek at how it operates in practice: