Google buys manufacturer of parkinson’s stabilisation spoon

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Google has acquired Lift Labs, the manufacturers of a tremor-cancelling spoon targeted at people suffering from essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease.

The purchase is another foothold into the biotech industry for the company and it hopes to determine how the technology may be used in other ways to improve the life of those with neurodegenerative diseases.

The spoon works by detecting hand tremors by using sensors placed in its handle. It works to cancel the tremors and stabilise movement, similar to the image stabilisation features which are found in cameras.

Lift Labs will be placed into Google’s research division. Google X focuses on technological advancements, such as drones and self-driving vehicles.

The co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin, has revealed that his mother suffers from Parkinson’s and that he carries a mutation of the LRRK2 gene (G2019S) which increases his risk of developing the disease. This has prompted his desire to help in the search for a cure for the disease. He said that when he was told about the gene, he was very surprised, not alarmed at all, but felt empowered. He felt that he could invest in research to help those with Parkinson’s.

In recent months, Google has entered other healthcare areas. During the early part of this year, it commenced tests for a special contact lens for use by diabetics, to monitor their blood-sugar levels.

During 2013, a separate company, Calico, was created by Google to develop technologies related to health issues caused by aging.

Image Credit: Robert Scoble

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