Rhythmic cueing with the Google Glass for patients with Parkinson's disease

Yan Zhao, Tjitske Heida, Johan Hendrik Nonnekes, Richard Jack Anton van Wezel

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic

    5 Citations (Scopus)
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    Objective: To develop and test applications for rhythmic cueing in the Google Glass to improve gait in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Background: Smartglasses, a type of wearable computer that possesses the features of a smart phone but can be worn like conventional glasses, offer new possibilities for therapy and continuous monitoring during activities of daily living. In particular, smartglasses like the Google Glass can provide visual and auditory cues that have long been used to improve gait disturbances in people with PD. Using motion and feature tracking, smartglasses can personalize cues based on the state of the user and/or the user environment. Methods: To approach the design of cueing applications (app) for smartglasses in a user­centered way, we conducted an online survey in the Netherlands on the attitudes, needs, and preferences of people with PD with respect to this new technology. We then developed a mobile app for the Google Glass, using visual (e.g. flashing square and optical flow) and auditory (e.g. metro­nome) cues to modulate gait. In a pilot study with 10 patients with PD, the effectiveness of the app was tested to investigate 1) the feasibility of using the Google Glass as a cueing device and 2) which cueing modalities (e.g. audio, visual, or optic flow) were most effective in improving gait. The subjects were asked to navigate obstacle courses that simulate real life situations, including those known to induce freezing of gait (FOG). The temporal frequency of the cues were specified by the user according to their preferred walking speed. Various kinematic parameters were measured. Results: The respondents of the survey were overall very enthusiastic about smartglasses' potential to help them self­manage their motor symptoms. Preliminary results with the custom cueing app for the Google Glass showed that temporal variability in gait and the frequency of FOG was reduced. Gait velocity and stride length need not necessarily be increased to improve the quality of gait. Consequently, patients gained more confidence in walking. In descending order, patients preferred the use of the metronome, followed by visual cues and optic flow. Conclusions: Patients with PD were generally positive about the prospect of using smartglasses to facilitate activities of daily living. Smartglasses like the Google Glass have potential as a rhythmic cueing device.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publication19th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders
    Place of PublicationMalden
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    Event19th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders 2015 - San Diego, United States
    Duration: 14 Jun 201518 Jun 2015
    Conference number: 19

    Publication series

    ISSN (Print)0885-3185
    ISSN (Electronic)1531-8257


    Conference19th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders 2015
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CitySan Diego


    • cueing
    • EWI-26464
    • METIS-315037
    • Parkinson's Disease
    • IR-98257
    • BSS-Biomechatronics and rehabilitation technology

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