The CUE1 uses a quiet electric motor to produce vibrotactile stimulation. The vibrations are produced in a specialised pattern developed through extensive research and testing alongside people with Parkinson’s.
Through the pattern’s wave shape and frequency, the device delivers two scientifically-validated principles in a combination unique to this device; focused stimulation and cueing. The scientific literature, as well as our own user testing, demonstrates their efficacy.
You can watch our short video which will explain our current understanding of how the CUE1 works in more detail.
This phenomenon was first described in the 19th century when Professor Jean-Martin Charcot noticed an improvement in his Parkinson’s patients after a bumpy carriage ride.
More recent research into the effect of sensory stimulation on the movement symptoms of Parkinson’s has improved our understanding. When used correctly, research suggests that localised vibration, termed “focused vibrotactile stimulation”, elicits sensory nervous signals that are transmitted from the skin and muscle to the brain. Here, these may modulate cortical activity to reduce excessive beta wave activity seen in Parkinson’s, putting the body in a “ready-to-move” state and reducing stiffness and slowness.
Another established phenomenon of Parkinson’s treatment that the CUE1 employs is that of cueing which, in the CUE1, is achieved by pulsing the vibrations.
Medical professionals commonly advise using cueing to help people with Parkinson’s with their motor symptoms. It can be delivered in many ways, such as through the sound of a metronome, lines regularly spaced on the floor or by counting in one’s head.
The main benefit cueing provides for people with Parkinson’s is a reduction in freeze-of-gait episodes and a more robust rhythm while walking, leading to smoother overall movement in people with Parkinson’s.
The CUE1 has been developed in close collaboration with people with Parkinson’s, ensuring the theory that we see in the scientific literature and learn about from our scientific and medical advisors provides real benefit in practice.
Through this process, we have arrived at the placement of the device and characteristics of the stimulation that resulted in the most consistent benefit across all our user testers.
However, we are very aware that everybody’s Parkinson’s is different and therefore have designed the CUE1 so that you can experiment with both of these factors to find the combination that best suits you.
We’d love to hear from you if you have Parkinson’s yourself or work with people with Parkinson’s and would like to be involved in Charco’s research and development.
The CUE1 can be used as a completely standalone device should you so wish, but can also be paired with the CUE app.
Connecting your phone or tablet to your CUE1 device via Bluetooth allows you to customise your experience by controlling characteristics of the CUE1 vibration; this is important because everyone’s Parkinson’s is different.