A Pen For People With Parkinsons
Lucy Jung never thought much about designing for sick people. Then she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She recovered, and the experience has driven her toward what she now thinks of her calling: to use design to help improve the quality of life of hospital patients and those with chronic conditions.
It drove the 27-year-old designer to create the Arc, a pen for people with Parkinsons disease. Along with three fellow students from the UKs Royal College of Art and the Imperial College London who took part in the Innovation Design and Engineering joint masters course, Jung designed the pen to not only make it easier for people with Parkinsons to write legibly, but to actually loosen up the muscles of their hands after theyve put the pen down.
The Arc Pen works by addressing a common symptom of Parkinsons patients: micrographia. As the disease takes hold, patients find their muscles seizing up, which then impacts their handwriting, and their letters appear abnormally small and cramped.
Why a pen? When youre talking about designing for the chronically ill, a lot of designers focus on basic life needs, Jung tells me. But our lives arent just eating and breathing. Its also writing, and drawing, and singing, and a load of other things that give people joy. So we wanted to focus on that.
Arc Pen Helps People With Parkinsons Disease Improve Handwriting
Its not on the market yet but it has shown in testing to be helpful for those who suffer from Parkinsons, a disease of the central nervous system which includes shaking and trembling, along with hands cramping up. The specific disorder that causes hand-cramping is called micrographia
The pen was invented by a group of researchers at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College in London and it uses high-frequency vibrations which in essence stimulate and manage key muscles in the hand.
The managing of the muscles enables the writer to move the pen across the page with more ease and control, and with little or no cramping. Doing so, as one test patient said, makes their writing bigger and more clear. Another helpful aspect of the pen is its wider shape and a design that makes it easier for gripping. Tests show an increased clarity of writing and an overall handwriting improvement of 85 percent.
The inventor group at the Royal College call themselves Dopa Solutions and named their invention the ARC pen. They dont know yet when it will be out on the market and are looking for a company to put some money into its further development.
The group is also applying the technology of high-frequency vibrations to stimulate muscles in other areas that may benefit sufferers of Parkinsons Disease, including to devices such as hair and tooth brushes, make-up applicators and computer mice.
Arc Pen To Aid Parkinsons Patients In Writing
It is a perfect blend when technology meets health. The new gadgets hitting the market not only help track ones fitness level but also help alleviate the health meter of those stricken by diseases and have absolutely no escape. Another vibrating pen may be the way to enhancing the composition of individuals who have Parkinsons sickness.
Formed by British plan firm Dopa Solution, the ARC pen tries to determine the engine control challenges that Parkinsons patients run into when they compose, as indicated by a story distributed Monday by Wired UK. In particular, a considerable lot of those with Parkinsons experience the ill effects of a penmanship issue known as micrographia. This condition prompts minute and more confined penmanship as the individual keeps on writing.
We heard stories of how baffling it was for individuals who were all the while working, or who needed to compose a card, sign reports, anything that needed to do with drawing letters on a piece on paper, ARC item originator Lucy Jung told Wired UK.
To battle micrographia, the ARC pen utilizes high-recurrence vibration to animate the muscles in the hand. That makes it less demanding for somebody to move the pen, which brings about bigger and clearer composition, as per Wired UK. The ARC pen is likewise thicker and preferable planned over the normal pen, so individuals with Parkinsons can keep up a firmer and more agreeable hold on it.
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A vibrating pen “may be the key to improving the writing” of people with Parkinson’s disease, said Lance Whitney at CNET.com. As Parkinson’s progresses, patients’ muscles seize up, which causes their handwriting to become increasingly small and cramped. The ARC pen, designed by British firm Dopa Solution, “uses high-frequency vibration to stimulate the muscles in the hand,” giving patients the sensation of greater control and allowing them to produce clearer, larger writing.
The pen’s thick, wedge-shaped design also makes it easier to grip. In a small-scale trial, the device improved patients’ writing 86 percent of the time. The ARC pen remains in the testing phase, and Dopa Solution is searching for sponsors to help with its development. The firm is also “looking to apply its vibration technology to other products to assist those with Parkinson’s.”
Writing Pen For Parkinsons Patients
Dopa Solution, a group of Royal College of Art and Imperial College London students, has developed a special pen that can smooth out the handwriting of Parkinsons patients. Within the plastic housing there are high frequency vibrational motors that help with writing by stimulating the key muscles in the hand as well as reducing the effort required to move the pen across the paper, according to Dopa.
The idea is similar to the Liftware Spoon that helps people with Parkinsons and essential tremors to eat on their own without making a mess. The new ARC pen actually addresses micrographia, the tendency to write with ever smaller letters due to fingers and hands cramping up. The pen was tested with fourteen people who have micrographia, with the results showing an overall handwriting improvement of 86%. Heres a video of the pen and how its already improving peoples lives:
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Vibrating Pen Aims To Help People With Parkinson’s Write More Easily
Still in the testing phase, the ARC pen stimulates the muscles in the hand, making it easier for someone to move the pen and write more legibly.
A new vibrating pen may be the key to improving the writing of people who have Parkinson’s disease.
Fashioned by British design firm Dopa Solution, the ARC pen tries to resolve the motor control difficulties that Parkinson’s patients run into when they write, according to a story published Monday by Wired UK. Specifically, many of those with Parkinson’s suffer from a handwriting disorder known as micrographia. This condition leads to smaller and more cramped handwriting as the person continues to write.
“We heard stories of how frustrating it was for people who were still working, or who wanted to write a card, sign documents, anything that had to do with writing,” ARC product designer Lucy Jung told Wired UK.
To combat micrographia, the ARC pen uses high-frequency vibration to stimulate the muscles in the hand. That makes it easier for someone to move the pen, which results in larger and clearer writing, according to Wired UK. The ARC pen is also thicker and better designed than the average pen, so people with Parkinson’s can maintain a firmer and more comfortable grip on it.
In an initial trial involving 14 people with Parkinson’s, the high-tech pen improved writing 86 percent of the time.
Arc Pen To Help Parkinsons Patients Write
By Tony Bridges | Last Updated March 2, 2020
If youre someone who loves the feel and experience of writing by hand, could you imagine losing that ability?
It happens to Parkinsons patients who develop bradykinesia, a symptom which slows movement and affects fine motor control. Writing becomes painful, leading to small, cramped handwriting, called micrographia.
Thats why a group of UK university students have developed a pen specially designed to ease the writing experience for those with Parkinsons disease.
The ARC pen by Dopa Solution, formed by students from Imperial College and the Royal College of Art, contains motors that vibrate, easing the cramping in the users hand.
According to Dopas website:
ARC is the first pen specifically designed for people with Parkinsons living with micrographia. This condition can result in small, cramped and often uncomfortable handwriting. Many people with this motor control difficulty give up the practice of writing or drawing altogetherBy utilizing high frequency vibration motors within ARC, we are able to facilitate larger and clearer writing by stimulating the key muscles in the hand as well as reducing the effort required to move the pen across the paper.
The group says it ran trials of the pen with 14 Parkinsons patients. Writing size increased for 86 percent of the participants.
Ive emailed the Dopa team to see what kind of refill the pen uses and will let you know if they get back to me.
Filed Under: General Interest
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Vibration Pen Is Designed For People With Parkinson’s
A woman appears in a video about a very special pen, the ARC, specifically designed for people with Parkinson’s living with micrographia. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2013, the woman says that, over time, her writing changed. It got smaller and smaller and smaller. Another man interviewed in the video also revealed his writing got smaller and smaller. This does not surprise those familiar with the disease. An associated problem is a condition called micrographia. Writing can get so small that it is almost impossible to see.
For support, a team of four enterprising people skilled in engineering and product design put their heads together to work on a prototype dubbed ARC, a pen for people with Parkinson’s. Lucy Jung, Tian-Jia Hsieh, Hwan Soo Jeon, and Danny Walklin make up a group called the Dopa Solution. Their ARC writing utensil is the first pen specifically designed for people with Parkinson’s living with micrographia. As students from the Imperial College I Royal College of Art they took part in the Innovation Design and Engineering joint masters course, said Fast Company.
The ARC pen uses high-frequency vibration motors to facilitate larger and clearer writing. Key muscles in the hand are stimulated. ARC prototypes were developed and in trials with 14 people with micrographia symptoms, an overall improvement in writing of 86 percent was demonstrated. Tests were performed under the direction of specialists.
The Vibrating Pen Fighting Parkinson’s Disease
Students at the Imperial College London and Royal College of Art have developed a vibrating pen that hopes to help patients with Parkinson’s disease.
The team of engineers and designers created the pen to try to combat a condition known as micrographia which causes people to write in small or cramped handwriting.
The pen is still in the testing phase. BBC Clickspoke to Lucy Jung, one of the students behind the device.
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Arc Pen Helps Those With Parkinsons Disease To Write
Having Parkinsons Disease is no walk in the park, this is for sure. The thing is, when ones hand starts to get all rickety, it can be rather challenging to do simple, everyday tasks that we take for granted, including feeding ourselves and writing a simple note. We have seen a spoon that helps those with Parkinsons Disease to eat normally, and the company behind this utensil, Liftware, was last year. Well, this time around, the ARC Pen was developed to combat micrographia.
The ARC Pen was basically developed by a bunch of students from UKs Royal College of Art and the Imperial College London, and micrographia is a Parkinsons symptom. One characteristic of this condition is having a patients handwriting become smaller and more cramped, the more one writes, until it becomes illegible. This pen hopes to prevent that from happening, as it stimulates key muscles via vibration, courtesy of the integrated motors within so that users end up with more control over their hands.
Since it is relatively bulky in size, it is also a whole lot more comfortable to hold as opposed to regular sized pens. A certain Lucy Jung leads this team, where the original idea proved to be radically different that is, to come up with a vibrating pen that offers non-patients an idea of what it would be like to write with Parkinsons.
The Arc Pen By Dopa Solution
The result of Dopa Solutions research and testing is the ARC pen. It works by stimulating certain muscles in the hand, and by reducing the amount of energy and effort required to move ones hand across a page. It has an ergonomic shape, making it as comfortable as possible to hold, and theres a button which alters the level of vibration intensity so the user can personalise it to their individual needs.
86% of the initial participants in the trial of this pen produced bigger handwriting when they used it, compared to normal pens. This is very promising news to those with Micrographia. Dopa Solution are currently still developing and testing the ARC pen to ensure it is as effective as possible, before bringing it on to the market.
I hope the design is finalised and put on sale as soon as possible, as it sounds to be a great solution to those with Parkinsons disease or unrelated Micrographia who enjoy penmanship and their independence.
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What Is Micrographia
A common but often overlooked symptom of Parkinsons disease, Micrographia is a condition that gradually makes a persons handwriting smaller and cramped, and therefore harder to read. Micrographia can actually be an early warning sign of PD, and whilst it may not sound like a big deal to some, it can be both inconvenient and devastating to the patient.
Micrographia makes letter-writing, drawing, filling out forms and other activities either difficult or impossible. This can take not only pleasure but a sense of independence away from the patient, as they then have to rely on others to write for them. For artists or keen writers in particular, this would be a highly distressing situation.
Some patients start writing in a larger font and then it gradually gets smaller, and some just always write in a very small and illegible way. Both of these situations are not desirable, and so a group of college students in the US, collectively called Dopa Solution, started to look into ways this could be improved for patients.