Tremors are more common than you might think. The condition Essential Tremors affects approximately 10 million people in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Neurology. Tremors are also a symptom of a wide range of diseases and conditions including Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis. Living with tremors can be frustrating and embarrassing. For many people tremors are not constant or consistent, which can make it hard to predict when tremors will start or when they’ll get worse. It can also make it tougher for physicians to know how to treat patients without a clear understanding of when, to what degree, and under what circumstances their tremors occur.
A startup called Trequant has set out to help tremor patients by tracking and reporting tremor incidence. The company has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for its two products, a Trequant Watch and a Trequant Band. Both have the same tremor tracking technology, but the watch functions as an ordinary watch, albeit one with a larger than usual face, a convenience for people whose hand shaking makes it difficult to read the time. The watch and band can gather data for a week at a time without recharging. The band has an adjustable strap and can be used on other parts of the body such as the leg and head. Data is sent from the band or watch via Bluetooth to a smartphone application, which forwards it to Trequant’s cloud storage. The app can also be set to remind the user to take medications. A further feature called Trequant Circles lets the wearer join a group of other Trequant users for information and support.
By monitoring their tremors, patients and their physicians can observe not just the tremor time, frequency, and amplitude, but also record initiating events such as specific foods, activities, weather, or anything else that appears to trigger or consistently be going on during tremors. That information can help physicians not only understand but hopefully be able to treat the tremors as well.