Portfolio News4/24/14

April Is Parkinson’s Awareness Month – Meet Lift Labs

Anupam Pathak

April is Parkinson’s awareness month, which is a special time for Lift Labs. We have been working extremely hard on developing devices and technologies to improve quality of life for those afflicted by theses types of neurological disorders.

Back when I was an engineering student I became aware of Parkinson’s Disease on a very personal level, when my close friend’s dad got diagnosed. Over the years I saw what is meant by a “degenerative” disorder as the disease began to take effect. Despite the best treatments available, there currently is no cure and the disease will affect many aspects of life including motor control, cognition, and mobility.

In the face of such a terrible disease, I’ve personally seen friends and family members rise up, and become active in support groups, foundations[1], fundraisers, and research. I’m truly humbled by these people who refuse to give up. Patients with Parkinson’s have told me that just witnessing their loved ones doing these things gives them strength.

A need for new technology development

When I started Lift Labs, I was inspired to help in my own way. I became extremely interested in developing devices to assist with neurological disorders. I first set out to develop Liftware[2], a unique product that, using an on-board computer, helps stabilize hand tremor by intelligently sensing the user’s tremor, and actively moving what they are holding (e.g. a spoon) in the opposite direction. The product has been successful in helping a large volume of individuals feed themselves once again with dignity and independence.  When one patient described the technology we’re developing as a “hope for the future” I realized it’s that hope that keeps us motivated and working hard.

Our first product, Liftware

We’re not alone – with us, many researchers are working to understand genes that affect Parkinson’s, develop new drug therapies, brain stimulators, and one day eradicate the disease once and for all. This month, I hope to recognize not only the patients but the community of people standing behind them. Friends, family members, and researchers are all working together improve our future.

 


[1] http://www.npf.org; https://www.michaeljfox.org/

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