A lot of our friends and family who have Parkinson’s Disease have a hard time moving, mostly with walking. In many cases they can only take small shuffling steps, and in the most extreme cases, a total loss of motion occurs where they feel like their feet are actually stuck to the ground. There are several solutions that are in existence for Parkinsonian mobility problems including drugs (L-dopa) and Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), though they have their limitations. To help with this, other gait improvement strategies have been researched, and it has been found that sound or visual cues happen to make a difference. Floor markers have been shown to increase stride length, as well as gait initiation. Auditory cues generated by a metronome tend to help when they are set slightly above the user’s typical cadence.
The problem, though, is that metronomes are expensive, bulky, and loud. You can easily buy one online, but most don't like using them. One of our friends told us that his wife quickly became bothered with the incessant ticking coming from his pocket. While metronome units come with headphones, but they don’t have a volume adjustment, and have long obtrusive wires that get tangled. People are also embarrassed with having some machine attached to them.
With almost half of the US owning a smartphone (and quickly growing), we thought there had to be an elegant solution that we could offer. So, we came up with Lift Stride – a free smartphone app for parkinson's disease (available for iphone and android). Our app is very simple. All you have to do is turn it on, adjust the cadence to just above your walking speed. You can play around with the setting until you find a pace that works right. The app works best with a Bluetooth headset (which is very discreet and does not look like a medical aid). We are keeping the app free (with zero ads). Our hope is that it will help spread awareness of our company, our talent, and our exciting upcoming products. Download the app here: