Cueing for Swallowing in Parkinson’s

This cueing device has been developed as a way to behaviourally manage drooling, which is commonly symptomatic of Parkinson’s Disease. The device was developed through a participatory design process, taking into account the needs of people with Parkinson’s Disease to ensure that the result was something they would want to wear.

Existing cueing devices give auditory or visual cues and can therefore draw unwanted attention, as well as being unsuitable for visual- or hearing-impaired users. Other issues with previous devices include the difficulties that could be presented to users with impaired motor function by an operating switch or the need to change the battery. With this in mind, the device we have developed resembles a wristwatch and gives a vibrating cue so as to minimise attention drawn to the wearer. In addition the device turns on and off automatically, with motion sensors recognising whether it is in use, so that the wearer does not have to operate any buttons or switches.

We are currently in the process of trialling the device with thirty NHS patients.

Part of the Cueing Technology for Parkinson’s project.