Sponsored By

A high-school student has developed a Bluetooth-enabled, 3D-printed ring that monitors patients with Parkinson's disease and transmits reports on the quantity and severity of their tremors, via an app, to an iPhone. The patient, as well as caregiver, can view date- and time-stamped reports on the patient's daily status.

Norbert Sparrow

February 4, 2016

3 Min Read
Young inventor develops 3D-printed ring to monitor Parkinson's symptoms

A high-school student has developed a Bluetooth-enabled, 3D-printed ring that monitors patients with Parkinson's disease and transmits reports on the quantity and severity of their tremors, via an app, to an iPhone. The patient, as well as caregiver, can view date- and time-stamped reports on the patient's daily status. By automatically tracking symptoms on an hourly basis, the OneRing device would allow physicians to prescribe medication more accurately and fine tune dosages and frequency, believes Utkarsh Tandon, a student at Cupertino High School—yes, that Cupertino in California. He started a Kickstarter campaign to finance the production of rings for use in local Parkinson's clinics as well as to raise awareness "about the need for technology to assist Parkinson's patients with their daily lives," he writes on his Kickstarter page.

OneRingThe invention has its genesis in a science fair project in 2014. A high-school freshman at the time, Tandon elected to develop a machine learning model that could collect patient data related to Parkinson's disease. He won first prize, and, in the process, attracted the interest of the University of California, Los Angeles Brain Research Institute, which gave him a grant to continue pursuing his work.

Tandon was inspired to invent ways to help people suffering from the disease after watching Parkinson's-afflicted Muhammad Ali light the Olympic torch in 1996 on Youtube. Michael J. Fox, also, was an inspiration. "I had seen Back to the Future when I was young, and my dad told me that . . . Michael J. Fox, has Parkinson's disease," explains Tandon. "This really inspired me to use my knowledge in programming to develop a device that could help Parkinson's patients deal with their motor symptoms."

OneRingAs it turned out, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Disease was instrumental in helping Tandon develop the machine learning algorithms that underpin OneRing technology. Data sets of the varying severity of tremors among Parkinson's patients, which are made publicly available through the foundation, enabled the machine learning study, writes Tandon on his Kickstarter page.

The algorithm that Tandon developed segments the severity of Parkinson's-related episodes into dyskinesia, bradykinesia, and tremor. "These classifications enable coherent patient reports that the physicians and patients can read and interact with in a way that better recommends medication," Tandon explained to 3ders.org.

The 3D-printed OneRing encompasses a housing, Bluetooth microchip and high-detail 3-printed ring cover. Tandon told PlasticsToday that nylon powder is used to 3D print the ring, which can be made in several colors including red, blue and a metallic plastic finish. Currently, the ring can be printed in three diameters—18, 19 and 20 mm—but Tandon is working on an adjustable, one-size-fits-all design using a flexible plastic material.

His Kickstarter campaign has a modest $1500 goal, which was easily surpassed. At the time of writing, Tandon had raised $3,279, with 53 hours to go.

If you're interested in showing your support for this project, you have until precisely 7:23 PM PST on Feb. 6 to make a contribution.

About the Author(s)

Norbert Sparrow

Editor in chief of PlasticsToday since 2015, Norbert Sparrow has more than 30 years of editorial experience in business-to-business media. He studied journalism at the Centre Universitaire d'Etudes du Journalisme in Strasbourg, France, where he earned a master's degree.

www.linkedin.com/in/norbertsparrow

Sign up for the PlasticsToday NewsFeed newsletter.

You May Also Like