Juvo is an exercising tool that aims to help early stage Parkinson’s disease patients to do physical therapy differently through several challenging routines and interactive games.
It is a better way to exercise as Juvo can benefit patients by improving both their physical and emotional state. Juvo doesn’t cure the disease, but it aims to help ease symptoms and bring some happiness to their lives.
Project Brief: To create an open source project that provides an innovative solution to a medical & healthcare issue.
This project was part of a workshop between Domus Academy students, WeMake and Opencare.
Visual Designer - Monica Calmet
Interactive Designer - Monica Calmet, Yiyuan Fan
Product Designer - Yiyuan Fan
Team Leader - Monica Calmet
For this open source project, our team decided to focus on Parkinson’s disease, a progressive disease of the nervous system marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement, chiefly affecting middle-aged and elderly people. We began by considering worldwide cases of people with this disease as well as statistics, existing products, and conducted interviews with professional personal assistants, physical therapists, and others.
Once we identified that there were no existing products to help ease the emotional effect of the disease via exercise for patients in stage one of the disease, we began to test different concepts.
Patients with Parkinson’s, during the earlier stages, are required to do physical therapy to improve their symptoms. These exercises are standard, basic routines that are done daily. Besides being physical, Parkinson’s disease also affects the emotional state of the person which is why we wanted to create a tool to help to ease the symptoms of this disease and bring happiness into patients’ lives.
Juvo aids these patients through several challenging routines and interactive games. We wanted to give these patients an entertainment tool that can distract them from their current reality during their physical therapy. This tool can be played anywhere: at home, at a physical therapy center with other patients, and any other place you can think of.
Juvo tackles the main exercises done in physical therapy: Stretching, Cardio, and improving Function, Strength and Flexibility. Each set of interactive games, which can be played by a single patient or a group of patients, are designed to improve balance, coordination, motor skills, endurance, and more. Juvo makes physical therapy entertaining and fun.
To show what Juvo can do, our team created a simple game that fits into a typical cardio routine done in physical therapy and added a bit of fun and challenge. The game’s objective is to move a frog across a lake. The patient controls the frog to jump across the tiles and get to the other side of the lake by doing simple cardio movements.
In the future, many of the games would be more challenging and visually appealing to keep it interesting for patients!
Juvo’s product design is based on the form of a weight. The purpose of this design is to have the patient hold it with both hands and thus would have a more comfortable and steady grip when exercising (which is very important for Parkinson's patients).
In physical therapy, patients use weights to help with the exercises and reduce tremors. Its design is simple, which is easy to move around and grab with either one or two hands. This product can track muscle improvement as well as obtain exercise statistics. In the future, Juvo will have a physical therapy band and a ball for more specific exercises that don't require a weight.
After the game was coded and designed with Processing software, we built a wood prototype for the weight and inserted an Arduino with an accelerometer which enabled us to use gesture recognition software that controls the frog with cardio routine movements.
Juvo's prototype worked successfully and we got to display it at the Maker Faire in Rome, Italy on October 2016.
Photo credit: Michele Aquila