Case study : Hand tremors (Essential tremor)

The first dedicated tester during the Smooth Move development was a male, over 70 years old, who had been developing a hand tremor for a few years. It had been noticeable by other family members for around 3 years. In the year prior to starting to use Smooth Move the tremor had also become a step more pronounced. It was starting to have an effect on day to day living, for example carrying liquids in cups was becoming less and less practical.

Initially the focus for the tester was in helping to develop the algorithms and interface so the Smooth Move app worked in the way envisaged. This was a slow process through many weeks, but while in this technical refinement phase there was the first indication of some positive therapeutic results. About three to four months after the testing started the tester reported that they had noticed they could influence their tremors. This generally had aspects of averting, or reducing tremors as they started.

This was already something the development team had hardly dared to imagine would be possible. Further time was going to be needed to see if this was temporary, a genuine gain, or the start of something even more interesting.

There was another three months or so before the next change was reported by the tester. A further improvement. The testers ability to influence the tremors had increased. They had gained a reliable level of ability to avert tremors as they were triggered. A threshold in daily living had been passed in that the tester was now carrying cups of breakfast tea across the kitchen.

This was now some cause for optimism that Smooth Move would not only meet the development teams goals, but substantially surpass them. None of the internet research had indicated that this was a typical outcome of essential tremor.

The final major step was after a further few months of Smooth Move use, when the level of control was becoming something that really could be trusted. This step was marked when the tester had regained the confidence to carry morning coffee from the kitchen through to the lounge, over a carpeted floor no less.

Great news for the tester and his family. The tremors are now considered something that is not largely noticeable by family in every day situations encountered.

The tester has thus far been using Smooth Move for a year and a half, and now investigates matters such as what hand positions, and what type of situations trigger them. This with the confidence that with their mind, and how it now interacts with the body, they can switch tremors off again. The one exception known is that when public speaking to a room of people, the 'stress' of this situation can still leave the tester unable to control tremors, so that is a goal that may yet still be reached.

The Smooth Move practice regime used was 7 minute practice sessions on a daily basis. Initially two or occasionally three sessions were practised on most days, but after the first six months this was switched so a single daily practice session.

What we don't know is if this was a rare coincidence. Even though tremor is not known for spontaneous and treatment-less cure, this can't be ruled out.

The Smooth Move development team are now hoping more people will try out Smooth Move for tremor related conditions.

The Smooth Move app is available free for Android smartphones from the Google play store. The development team can be contacted by email for further information.