Area of intervention: Patients with Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s Disease is a disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement, often including stooped posture, tremors, shuffling Gait, bradykinesia.
As the disease progress people have difficulties in performing day to day activities like walking, sitting, standing up and other body movements. Mobility of the patients is one of the major area affected where they need constant support they need to perform regular exercises.
The INDIRECT APPROACH
Major design cues taken from the case studies and from the interactions with the doctor.
- Using an indirect approach to stimulate the brain through physiotherapy which helps in initiating movements.
- Brain doesn’t know movements, Brain recognizes “function”. Through an indirect approach, we can force the brain to do a function.
For example: While walking it doesn’t recognizes our legs are moving until and unless if there is an obstacle which forces the brain to act lift/move away from it. This functional approach to the brain helps in stimulating the brain.
- Using forced exercises, we can achieve the same result as a Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery.
- Continuous physiotherapy Sessions will reduce the effect of symptoms on the patients.
The aim is to design a walking aid which helps the patient in gait training and improve the exercise (Walking) activities.
The underlying concept in the design is using an indirect approach, a module which gives visual and auditory cues for the patient to practice gait.
The visual aid consists of light projections on the ground, which patient has to follow as trails. When the module projects the left side light, patient has to place the left leg on the light projected on the ground and move further. Then the left light turns off and right side light is projected. Similarly, the patient has to do the same step for the right leg. As this process continues the patient gains the momentum to walk easily.
At some point patients can’t initiate movements while walking and they lose balance. So, there is a requirement for a momentary resting place. The existing rollators consists of a small seat where the patient has to turn around and sit, which is a difficult task for the patient in such circumstance.
This process of sitting should be in the direction of movement which is easier for the patient. Therefore, the proposed idea consists of a foldable seat, on one side which the patient has to push to form a platform just behind them. This process is more intuitive for the patient.
As a conclusion, the fundamental idea of the proposed design is not only to support them while walking but also be a constant personal trainer for mobility.
For full project information please visit https://www.behance.net/gallery/43438671/Saath-E-A-walking-aid-for-parkinsons-disease-patients