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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

“TAME” – Tremor Acquisition Minimization Device by NUST Students

The anti-tremor device namely “TAME” by the students from NUST – National University of Sciences and Technology, won the 2016-2017 Design Challenge held by the Stanford Center on Longevity in USA.

What are Tremors?

Mostly affecting the hands, a tremor is a type of neurological disorder where a person experiences unintentional, shaking movement. Besides hands, it can affect other body parts like the head and voice too.

There are many types of tremors depending upon the nature of the involuntary movements and their sources. They are categorized as follows:

Resting tremors – These tremors occur when your muscles are resting, and when you move those muscles the tremors may disappear or become less noticeable. Example, Parkinson’s disease.

Action tremors – These tremors occur when you are intentionally or purposefully moving the muscle of the body part, such as, when you are writing, pushing a button, or you are reaching for an object. Example, multiple sclerosis. Action tremors are again of two types – postural tremor, and kinetic or intention tremor.

Idiopathic tremors This is a type of tremor that has developed spontaneously or due to an unknown cause. Example, Idiopathic Dystonic Tremor.

Common treatment for tremors:
Conventional forms of treatment include medication and physiotherapy to help the patient strengthen their muscles and reduce the intensity of the tremors. But now there might just be a ray of hope for these patients who might be able to go back to normal life with the help of this device called TAME.

What is TAME?

Short for tremor acquisition and minimization, it is the World’s First wearable device for pathological tremor categorization and real time suppression. Pathological tremors are the most common neurological movement disorder which cause involuntary rhythmic shaking of various parts of the human body, most commonly the hands.

Around 280 Million people worldwide have lost their independence due to these tremors. They have to depend on others to perform the simplest tasks in life like eating, drinking and even dressing themselves. But unfortunately even after such medical advancements the scientists are far from even understanding the root cause of the disorder let alone find a cure for it.

A team from SEECS, NUST comprising of Awais Shafique, Hooriya Anam and Muhammad Arsalan Javed under the supervision of Dr. Syed Muhammad Raza Kazmi, are working on a breakthrough technology called TAME which is a noninvasive Tremor Suppression device that can give back the control and ease to the tremor patients to perform their routine tasks without hindering their voluntary movements.

TAME uses a technique called Functional Electrical Stimulation in which low voltage electric current is used for muscle actuation and to generate movement.  Motion censors are used to detect how the tremor is moving in the arm and the device in turn, generate a counter movement for suppression of the tremor and to stabilize the hand.

It is a complete solution for the treatment and diagnosis of Pathological Tremor patients in the form of an intuitive, user friendly and easily manageable wearable device connected to cloud storage for easy management and sharing of diagnosis files. The team competed in BITA 2015 with the most brilliant innovations from Industry and Academia in Pakistan and received the Best I.T innovation Award 2015 along with PKR. 1 Million.

A team from SEECS, NUST comprising of Awais Shafique, Hooriya Anam and Muhammad Arsalan Javed under the supervision of Dr. Syed Muhammad Raza Kazmi, are working on this breakthrough technology called TAME.

Watch the following short video to learn about the project:

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