TAME: Device for Tremor Control and Minimization

Created by: NUST University Pakistan

Presentation written by: Naqvi Syed Hammad Raza, hammadrazaasab@gmail.com

Presentation supervised by: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Elena M. Barbu, elena.barbu@univ-grenoble-alpes.fr

 

1. Introduction to TAME

TAME (Tremor Acquisition and Minimization) started as an idea by the students of National University of Sciences and Technology. It was a joint research venture between National University of Sciences and Technology and Foundation University Medical College, Pakistan. Patient trials were carried out after ethical approval in Fauji Foundation Hospital under the supervision of Dr. Khalid Farouk, Dr. Tassawar Hussain and Dr. Saira Saad of Foundation University Medical College, Foundation University Islamabad.

It’s an idea incepted by a group of three young graduates (Arslan Javed, Awais Shafique and Hooriya Anam) from the Electrical and Computer Sciences department of NUST. The idea was started in early 2016 when the team presented its idea in FICS (Finding Innovative and Creative Solutions), and event annually held at NUST Pakistan.

2. Context on the innovation

Imagine one day you wake up and are faced with a terrible situation of being unable to perform even the basic tasks like holding the cup of your morning coffee, dressing up for your job or school, being able to drive and so on. This in not just a figment of imagination rather it’s a sad reality compromising the lives of 280 million people around the world who have lost the ability to do even the most basic tasks because of condition called as Pathological Tremors.

There are different types of tremors resulting from different biological conditions like Parkinson’s etc. but all are somewhat same in that they all involve an involuntary somewhat rhythmic, muscle contraction and relaxation involving oscillations or twitching movements of one or more body parts. It is the most common of all involuntary movements and can affect the hands, arms, eyes, face, head, vocal folds, trunk, and legs. Most tremors occur in the hands. In some people, a tremor is a symptom of another neurological disorder

3. Existing Treatments for Tremors

Although there is no absolute treatment for the tremors but there are some existing solutions to this problem such as medications and de-brain stimulations. The problem with medications is that they have a very short term effect and also with an increasing adversity of the disease the body becomes immune to medicines. On the other hand de-brain stimulation is a process that involves placing electrodes in the brain which is a very expensive procedure and causes surgical complications and side effects due to the use of charged electrodes. So a solution was required that was efficient, had a real-time effect and was cost-efficient as well.

4. TAME an Innovative Solution

TAME (Tremor Acquisition and Minimization) is an innovative solution to the problem that has affected the lives of millions of people around the world. TAME is a wearable device for the real time diagnosis and suppression of Pathological Tremors. This device uses the technology called functional electrical stimulation. Using this technology in period of the tremors the device detects the rhythmic movement of hands and actuates movement of muscles that counter the tremor movement. In simple words when the hand shakes because of the tremors the device actuates a movement against the movement of tremor in the opposite direction thus nullifying the effect of tremor movement. The device is also linked to a smart phone app that locks the tremor profile of the patient in real time and can help the doctor to study the prognosis of disease later on.

5. About the device
  • It’s a simple device that can be weared as a sleeve or a wrist band.
  • It’s safe to use and has no side effects.
  • It is a chargeable device
  • Is linked to mobile app and locks the tremor profile of the patient
  • Is inexpensive and efficient as compared to the existing solution

Figure: TAME device Prototype A

(http://www.tame.pk/about/)

6. Achievements of the team

TAME has been widely appreciated idea and has won several national and international accolades. Starting from the very basic FICS competition where it stood first. It then moved to winning the first prize at Stanford Longevity Design Challenge held in February 2017. They also won the 3rd prize at The Interaction Design Association (IxDA) competition 2017. They represented Pakistan at Seedstars Asia Regional Summit, won the SeedStars Islamabad Start-up Competition, won the Falling Labs FCCU competition and won the IEEE and Nascon design competitions as well. Last but not the least they were featured in 25 under 25 in Pakistan by the Pakistan TechJuice forum.

7. Why is it responsible?

According to an estimate 280 million people around the world suffer from Tremors and are unable to perform many of the daily routine tasks because of it. TAME device brings a ray of hope for such people by allowing them to do what they thought of as impossible. Giving back the lost happiness to someone is the greatest gift there is, so in my opinion this innovation is responsible in a sense that it gives away the lost powers to people. Also unlike the alternatives it doesn’t has any side effect on the health of patients and hence is safe and is also sustainable since its price is not high and can be charged and used for a long period of time.

 

References:

Link to the video:

https://vimeo.com/191210358

Webography:

http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Tremor

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tremor#cite_note-1

http://www.tame.pk/

http://www.gharana.pk/nust-students-wins-challenge/