Therapeutic Pen Helps People With Parkinson’s Write

The pen has improved legibility in 86 percent of patients.
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The pen has improved legibility in 86 percent of patients.

Simply jotting down a quick note or signing a name to a card can prove an impossible task for patients with Parkinson’s disease. This nervous system disorder known for decreasing mobility due to uncontrollable tremors greatly impacts fine motor skills.

One of the most common side effects of Parkinson’s is micrographia, a handwriting condition that results in small, cramped, and often, illegible writing.

Lucy Jung, a student at the Imperial College and the Royal College of Art, designed the ARC Pen after she was diagnosed — and recovered — from a brain tumor. Whereas design around the chronically ill often focuses on basic functionality and survival, Jung wanted to create a device to improve patients’ quality of life.

“Our lives aren’t just eating and breathing. It’s also writing, and drawing, and singing and a load of other things that give people joy. So we wanted to focus on that,” Jung told WT Vox.

The ARC pen uses a series of high frequency vibrations that allows for larger, clearer writing. In the initial small study, 86 percent of participants reported improved handwriting.

And the benefits of the pen don’t stop there. The now loosened muscles can create greater mobility for users after they’ve finished writing a note or list, granting an additional 10 minutes of dexterity for patients to complete other challenging tasks. 

Learn more about the ARC Pen at Dopa Solution’s website and by watching the video below:

Top photo courtesy of Dopa Solution