Lift Pulse 2.0

Lift Labs AppLift Pulse 2.0, a smart phone app created by Lift Labs, has released the results of data gathered from users since updating the app in June 2013. Lift Pulse 2.0 includes a journal feature that measures and records tremors. It also records what medications you’re taking for tremor and how you’re doing with sleep, exercise and stress. The app stores your journal entries anonymously in Lift Lab’s private database. You have access to this data through your phone and computer, and Lift Lab analyzes it to provide you with information on how different factors affect your tremor.

Among the data extracted from users of Lift Pulse 2.0, Lift Labs found:

  • The most commonly used prescription is Propranolol (Inderal®), followed by Primidone (Mysoline®).
  • Exercise exacerbates amplitude of tremor.
  • People who reported less stress have less severe tremor symptoms.

Lift Pulse 2.0 users have measured their tremor almost 4,000 times so far, and that number continues to grow, according to Lift Labs.

Lift Labs, an IETF partner, focuses on healthcare and consumer devices used by individuals with motion disorders such as Essential Tremor. Lift Pulse 2.0 is available from iTunes and Google Play.

Assistive device query spurs terrific IETF Facebook thread

The IETF’s Facebook friends are quite active and talkative. Recently, we posed the question “What assistive device have you found to be the most helpful when dealing with your essential tremor?” In just a few hours, the post had accumulated more than 70 replies.

Responses went beyond what we might consider “assistive devices” in the tangible sense, mentioning medications, alternative medicine, diet, and other areas of interest for the ET community. Many of the postings underscore or expand on ideas presented in the coping tips section of the IETF website.

We’re just delighted to see so much dialogue in the ET community, with so many positive thoughts shared. So what insights and additions might you contribute to this conversation?

Kitchen Assistance

A few days ago, I received a call from an ET patient who has been having problems cutting herself when using sharp knives in the kitchen. At the time, I was at a loss for helpful suggestions. Since then, I did a bit of searching on our very own website! Under Assistive Devices, there is a link to Elder Store, http://www.elderstore.com/adaptive-eating-utensils. They have several serrated rocker knives listed which should provide some help in preparing meals. If you have any other helpful kitchen hints, please let us know.

Downey CA ET Patient Seminar

Rancho Los Amigos National Rehab CtrCome join me in Downey, CA on Saturday, February 2, 2013 where I will be working with Drs. Hui and Liker to bring you another free seminar to learn more about the diagnosis process and treatment for essential tremor. The last event in the area was cancelled because registrations were too low, but we are hoping that the timing of this event will be better for everyone, so get registered today! I look forward to meeting so many of you.

Both physicians are extremely knowledgeable and you will definitely learn a lot. It’s also an opportunity for you to receive free educational materials and get a chance to ask questions. Please join me and others with ET for a half day of education and some free refreshments.  Please register today!

Accessibility and the Smart Phone

Touch ScreenIt seems like touchscreen technology is here to stay, which is a really problem for those with hand tremor. Many smartphone users prefer a tactile keyboard, but are finding that they are not a common feature in newer phones, as manufacturers are moving more to touch and swipe navigation. So what’s a person with ET to do? Don’t overlook the power of assistive technology!

First thing to do is adjust your touchscreen sensitivity. You can do this by going to your Menu, and then select Settings. Under Settings you will see an Accessibility option where you can enable your pre-installed options. You will also find keyboard options under Settings. Review your options and play around with it to find what works best for you. Not finding what you’re looking for? Go to your app store. There are free and low cost options for both iPhone and Android.

Many users suggest forgoing touchscreens and keyboards altogether, preferring instead to use voice to text software (Siri, Vlingo, IDEAL, etc.).  Voice to text allows you to just say what you want to type and the software will do the keying for you. Some apps will even read back what you’ve said to ensure everything is just as you want. Dial the phone, send a text or even search the web, all with the sound of your voice?you only have to be able to touch the microphone button.

Don’t let your tremor hold you back from experiencing all the wonders that new technology can bring to your fingertips. Utilize accessibility features on your smartphone, Kindle, tablet and PC. Make your technology work FOR YOU.