Chris Smith
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Parkinson's and Essential Hand Tremor Tracking

A project for tracking the progression of Parkinson's and Essential Tremor using the Leap Motion 3D, touch-free hand tracking device. This project originated from a conversation with a neurologist who was interested in movement sonification, mapping sound to hand movement, in order to help people recovering motor function by providing an additional feedback mechanism. Through our conversations, the topic of helping people with tremors came up and I developed a piece of software for tracking hand tremor frequency and assessing volatility of movement with a simple line tracing task.

Innovation

The most innovative thing about the project was the ability to be very precise in measuring tremor. Doctor's currently measure tremor by having a person draw figures on a piece of paper and then give them an evaluation on a scale of 1 to 4 to track their tremor progression. With the Leap Motion, we were able to make 1.2 millimeter accuracy 3D position measurements hundreds of times per second proving it was possible to create a low cost, high resolution hand tremor measurement.

Read the full article here.

Results

Leap Motion found the application interesting and republished on their official blog. Neurologists from around the world reached out to collaborate on the project. I shared the code with them to use in their labs. I moved on to other projects after this one and unfortunately didn't make time to develop it further.

Role

Engineer and Design

Tremor Assessment Line Tracing

This application measures the position of a user's finger while trying to trace a line. The volatility of the movement may then be viewed, saved and compared over time. 

Hand Tremor Analysis

Additionally, the software calculates the FFT on each finger and the palm so a doctor or patient can monitor the rate of tremor and the change over time.