In today’s world, effective technology use is not only helpful, but necessary in order to communicate, work, and live a productive life. However, many people struggle with using devices like computers and smartphones due to hand tremors and shaking associated with conditions like Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Fortunately, a number of companies have developed assistive devices to help those who live with these conditions use technology more easily and comfortably. If you or a loved one needs assistance using tech to communicate, here are some options to consider:
Digit Grip — $5-$8, digitgrips.com
Digit Grip is an innovative, affordable solution that helps to prevent dropping devices like smartphones and tablets. It is a textured grip-shaped device that attaches to the back of your smartphone or tablet device with a secure, pressure-sensitive adhesive. Digit Grip provides a secure grip that doesn’t allow the device to slip out of your hands, even during hand tremors or arthritis flare-ups. It provides an inexpensive way to prevent dropping and breakage of those expensive devices.
RollerMouse — $176-$265, contourdesign.com
Maneuvering a hand-held mouse is often the most challenging part of computer use for those with mobility issues. Contour’s RollerMouse takes the functionality of a mouse and puts it in a roller bar that sits at the bottom of the keyboard. This not only increases the overall surface area of the mouse, but also eliminates the need to hover your hand in an unnatural position to hold a traditional mouse. In addition to helping those with hand tremors, RollerMouse can ease the hand strain of computer use, and even prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
BigKeys LX Keyboard — $153-$163, bigkeys.com
On a traditional computer keyboard, the keys are barely bigger than your fingertips, making it particularly difficult for those with hand tremors and mobility concerns to type accurately or comfortably. BigKeys Keyboards triple the size of the typical keys in order to make it easier and more comfortable to type. The keys also have deep pockets so it’s easier to feel when they have been pressed, thus preventing the errors caused by many modern keyboards. Furthermore, because BigKeys connects via Bluetooth, it can be used with phones and tablets in addition to computers, making this a versatile assistive tool.
Tremelo — $749, fivemicrons.com/products/tremelo
There are a number of wearables on the market that work to absorb the kinetic energy from hand tremors to make them less severe. Tremelo is unique in that it does not utilize electricity or nerve stimulation, but takes an entirely mechanical approach to easing symptoms. This not only makes it easier to use a computer or cellphone, but also to perform other everyday tasks such as getting dressed and preparing meals. Users report that the glove is not only effective, reducing tremor activity by 85%-90%, but also relatively comfortable to wear, making it a truly life-changing piece of technology.
By Vanessa Hutchison