We are delighted to share that we recently supported Power Over Parkinson’s 4th Annual Golf Tournament.
Who are Power Over Parkinson’s?
Power Over Parkinson’s are a Parkinson’s organisation based in Virginia in the United States. They aim to raise awareness for the benefits of using exercise and wellness to reduce Parkinson’s symptoms.
Each year they hold a golf tournament to fundraise for their Parkinson’s programs which are run throughout the year. We are very happy to support such a great Parkinson’s organisation and their community.
It was a bogey free day!
Beats Medical were delighted to be one of the official hole sponsors on the day, filled with good golf, blue skies, and lots of smiles. 144 golfers and 25 volunteers all turned up to help raise awareness for Parkinson’s Disease.
We were also thrilled to help keep those bogeys away and ease the stress on Power Over Parkinson’s golfers with our special Beats Medical dexterity balls, that were included in all participant goodie bags! They proved to be a real hit on the day, with some golfers applauding their good quality and size.
We would like to congratulate Power Over Parkinson’s for hosting such a memorable event for a great cause. Everyone enjoyed their sunny round of golf, dinner and games in what was a fantastic day out. We were delighted to be a part of it and support the Parkinson’s community.
Exclusive Beats Medical Gift Pack
Do you want to get your hands on one of our special Beats Medical dexterity balls? Our exclusive Beats Medical gift packs include lots of tools such as dexterity balls, styluses, symptoms diaries and lots more! An exclusive Beats Medical Gift Pack is included with the purchase of a yearly membership. Sign up today to begin your free trial and target your Parkinson’s symptoms at home.
We are delighted to announce that we recently collaborated with Together For Sharon on an exciting project. If you are interested in learning more about Beats Medical, our Parkinson’s app, and our hopes for the future of Parkinson’s, then keep reading below as this interview is one not to be missed!
Who are Together For Sharon?
Together For Sharon is a family run Parkinson’s organisation that was set up to honor their beloved mother, Sharon. They aim to raise awareness for Parkinson’s and hope for a cure.
Recently our Sales and Marketing Associate Chloe, sat down with George from Together For Sharon for an exclusive interview discussing our shared mission to help people with Parkinson’s enjoy a good quality of life.
Our mission is to transform how CNS & Rare Diseases are managed and understood, to unlock the therapies of the future. Through this, we empower patients, helping them to manage their symptoms independently.
Please tell me a little about your background.
My role with Beats Medical is a Sales and Marketing Associate. I am the first point of contact for new and potential users. As the Beats Medical service is personal to me, I am very passionate about helping people with CNS conditions target their symptoms at home and enjoy a good quality of life.
As my role is quite customer focused, I speak to our users regularly and love hearing their feedback. I try to support users in any way I can, offering technical support, feedback on exercises, or sometimes our users just want to have a chat, which I am more than happy to do!
Can you tell me more about your organization?
At Beats Medical, our mission is to deliver digital assessments and therapeutics that transform how CNS and rare diseases are managed and understood, to unlock the therapies of the future. We have deployed a variety of evidence-based applications, in areas like Parkinson’s, Dyspraxia, and well-being, that provide daily assessments and tailored therapies through the user’s smartphone. Our aim is to empower our users, helping them to manage their symptoms independently, at home and with confidence.
What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?
At Beats Medical we are all very passionate about empowering every person with a neurological condition to enjoy a better quality of life. For example, our award-winning Parkinson’s application was designed with the aim of improving the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s. We wanted to give patients access to evidenced-based exercises at home while they wait for specialist care, or between clinic visits.
This all began while our CEO, Ciara was working in a hospital as a physiotherapist. Her next patient, a person with Parkinson’s disease, was 20 minutes late. She went out to find him frozen at the main entrance, unable to move. It was for this reason that she founded Beats Medical, to look at the different approaches that can help people to walk or speak with ease, giving them tools to control their symptoms at home.
What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when working with you?
The Beats Medical Parkinson’s app was designed to target the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s. It allows users to practice their mobility, hand movement, and speech skills at home. Many of our clients use the metronome therapy to help them walk with confidence. Many complete the daily dexterity exercises to practice their handwriting, or to help make everyday tasks easier, like tying their shoelaces or buttoning up shirts. Some clients also use our daily speech exercises to help them speak louder and clearer.
We also understand that when it comes to Parkinson’s, one size doesn’t fit all, and no two people with Parkinson’s are the same. That is why all our users have their own individual programs,tailored to their needs. For example, our metronome therapy gives users an individually tailored beat based on how they are walking on any given day. Users are then asked to try and match this beat during their 10-minute walking therapy.
What type of training and how long are the programs?
We always recommend that users try our 14-day free trial to make sure our service is right for them. During their trial period, users can try all the exercises and therapies across all three sections of the app. Our dedicated support team also regularly check in to make sure that they are getting the most from their free trial.
Once users are happy with the service, they can opt for either our monthly or yearly membership option. Consistency and repetition are key, so we recommend that users try to complete their daily exercises for at least 10 minutes a day to get the most from their Beats.
What effect can it have on an individual with Parkinson’s?
Our digital tool has helped users all over the world to target their Parkinson’s symptoms at home, through daily, tailored therapies and a dedicated support team. We’ve even had users walk the length of the UK using our technology!
The data we collect from these exercises can also contribute to future understandings of Parkinson’s, with a goal of developing digital biomarkers that can revolutionise how Parkinson’s is monitored and treated.
What would you like to see as a future goal for your programs?
Our goal is to provide these evidence-based interventions to our users free of charge, by tapping into reimbursement channels, giving more people access to exercises and therapies, helping them to target their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
What events do you participate in?
As leaders in the digital therapeutics industry, we attend conferences around the world, to ensure we are at the forefront of digital therapeutics conversations. We are often invited to speak at and chair many different health conferences around the world from the UK to the US, to Europe, and Asia.
Our CEO Ciara Clancy is also a Thought Leader for HealthXL, a leading global community for digital health collaboration.
We also recognise the importance of sponsoring different Parkinson’s related activities, to show our support for the community, and our passion to empower individuals.
How does this also assist the caregivers?
The app can be used by caregivers to support their patients, as a tool that provides them with daily exercises. The application should be used to augment existing measures. It is not designed to replace specialist care, but to give people something to work on between in-clinic sessions, to support what they are already doing.
How can someone get in touch? What is your website?
People can get in touch with us by phone on the following numbers, 01 254 9975 (IRL), 040 3287 9975 (UK), 347 537 4080 (US and Rest of World) or you can also reach out to us by email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our website, http://www.beatsmedical.com to learn more about Parkinson’s and the work that we do.
If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?
If you are just newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s or if you have had it for years, remember that the Parkinson’s community is very welcoming to new members. If you need any help or support you are not alone, reach out to your local Parkinson’s community for advice.
I will leave you with an inspiring quote from one of our users John, who has been a member of the Beats Medical community for nearly 10 years!
“I have been compromised one way or another by my Parkinson’s but there is one area that I am now stronger, my self-belief! I am a more determined person now, and far more minded to take on new and exciting challenges.”
In a healthy brain, the pathways that cue movement are sending messages to your body saying “step, step, step”. In Parkinson’s, this pathway might be hampered or damaged. With metronome therapy, we are using a ‘beat’, specific to your walk, to help you take each step.
How is the Beats Medical walking therapy different to a normal metronome?
Metronome therapy, or walking to a specific beat, has been used in the treatment of Parkinson’s for 50 years. The Beats Medical app allows you to get a uniquely tailored beat each day at home, it would not be feasible to visit a hospital or clinic every single day.
Why would the beat need to change every day?
As no two people with Parkinson’s are the same, and symptoms can change from day to day, the treatment changes each day to suit you. There are no good or bad scores; your beat can vary depending on how you’re walking that day.
How do I use the Beats Medical walking therapy?
1. Open the beats Medical application, open the walking therapy and start the calibration period.
2. Put your device in your front, trouser pocket and walk, uninterrupted, for 2 minutes, until you hear a loud sound, marking the end of calibration.
3. Take the device from your pocket to view your individually prescribed beat. Set the timer and start the therapy.
4. Place the phone back in your front trouser pocket and step your feet in time with the beat.
5. Once you have practiced walking in time to the beat, the Beats Medical support team will introduce additional elements for you to focus on. This can include heel strike, arm swing, posture and turns.
What will this do for me?
This can help you to improve your mobility, stride length, speed and the quality of your walk.
Is it proven to work/ to be safe?
All of the treatments we provide are evidence based. There is over 50 years of research demonstrating the effectiveness of ‘auditory cueing’ for people with Parkinson’s. To read more, this research paper examined metronome therapy in detail, published in the renowned ‘Nature’ journal in January 2018.
If you have been recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you are not alone. We are here to help empower you by giving you the tools and information you need to lead a healthier, more independent life. Starting today you have the power to make a positive change in your life.
1. Don’t Panic
No matter what stage of life you are at when you receive a diagnosis, it is a challenging time. It may come as a shock to you, or it may be something you have been suspecting. Either way, it is important not to panic. Remember that you are not alone and that there is a lot of people you can turn to for support.
2. Ask your Neurologist
After receiving a diagnosis of Parkinson’s, it is normal to have a lot of questions about it. It is important that you ask your neurologist any questions that you may have so that you can better understand your condition. It is helpful to write down a list of your questions to bring with you to your neurologist appointment. Understandably, it may be an emotional time for you, and having a list written down can help you to stay focused on getting the answers that you need.
3. Find a support group
Having a strong support network will be a huge help throughout your Parkinson’s journey. Even though your symptoms may be subtle in the beginning, opening up to people and building a support network can be hugely beneficial for your wellbeing. Joining a support group can be a great way to open up about your Parkinson’s to others who understand. It is also a great way to hear helpful tips from people who have experienced symptoms similar to you. Research if there is a support group in your local area, and if there isn’t, you could always set one up!
4. Gather information
Try to learn as much as you can about your condition. However, be careful where you get your information from. Be sure to get information from reliable sources. The best place to start is to ask your neurologist or GP where to go for accurate information. You can also find useful information on websites of official Parkinson’s organisations, such as Parkinson’s UK. Just remember, everyone’s experience with Parkinson’s will be different, – don’t believe everything you read on the internet!
Research has shown how helpful dancing is for mobility in those diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Maintaining independence and freedom is a huge concern for anyone who is diagnosed with a neurological disorder. Fears surrounding your diagnosis might cause you to become withdrawn both physically and emotionally.
The main thing to remember when you are looking to improve and maintain your mobility is to EXERCISE.
Dancing is a great form of exercise. Not only does it keep you fit, but it also involves a lot of techniques that are specifically helpful for Parkinson’s symptoms. These techniques include auditory cues from the music, practicing changing direction and turning, balance practice, and memory work.
Dance also provides a platform for expressing yourself both physically and emotionally. It provides a creative outlet to express yourself with no words or explanations, just movement.
Not only is dance a great form of exercise and expression, but it is also a lot of fun! It is a great opportunity to let go of your daily stresses with a group of people and just enjoy yourself. In fact, recent research has found that dance has similar effects on motor and fitness outcomes as normal strength and balance training in people with Parkinson’s, and it has been shown to be more enjoyable based on patient feedback!
Don’t know where to start? Take a quick search on Google, as many local Parkinson’s groups provide dance classes specifically for those who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. If this isn’t the case with your specific area, reach out to a local dance instructor and see if there is a course where you would be able to participate.
It is commonly said that no two people with Parkinson’s are the same, as the symptoms one person experiences can be quite different from those experienced by another person with the condition. Parkinson’s affects people differently, and how symptoms present can change from day to day.
The symptoms which most people associate with Parkinson’s is tremor. However, there are both motor and non-motor symptoms which can be a part of life with Parkinson’s. Not everyone will experience all of these symptoms, while some people with Parkinson’s might never experience such symptoms.
This varied range of symptoms is what makes Parkinson’s such a complex condition. In this blog we look at some ways to manage some of the motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Many people with Parkinson’s may experience a change in their walking over time. Common issues such as rigidity, stiffness, slowness of movement, and shortened, shuffling steps impact on the quality of walking. The Beats Medical Parkinson’s Treatment Service helps to work on improving the quality of walking, among other things. You can read more here: beatsmedical.com/parkinsons
Some people with Parkinson’s may, from time to time, experience ‘freezing’. This is when the signal from the brain to the legs is impaired, resulting in your feet getting ‘stuck’ on the spot as if your feet are frozen. This can be an uncomfortable experience. Metronome therapy, like the tailored beat in the Beats Medical app, can help to overcome this symptom.
For some people with Parkinson’s, vocal strength and clarity of speech can be affected over time.
Similarly, some people with Parkinson’s may sometimes find things like handwriting, buttons, and zippers a little difficult. The Beats Medical app has exercises, based on Allied Health Therapy, to help with these speech and dexterity symptoms. You can read a review of the service here: parkinsons.org.uk/information-and-support/beats-medical
Some people with Parkinson’s can experience issues with sleep. Disrupted sleep patterns can have an impact over time. Try not to worry too much about sleep, take frequent rests when you can, and if it becomes a persistent issue, speak to your Parkinson’s specialist.
Sometimes, Parkinson’s can impact on the digestive system, creating issues such as constipation. Therefore, it is important to try maintain a balanced diet, and if you experience issues, link in with your GP or Parkinson’s specialist who will be able to advise you.
Has a loved one recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s? Here are five ways that you can help your loved one adjust.
Communication is key for those who have recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Anxiety and depression can sometimes be common for people with Parkinson’s. Although life will be different, it is important that you do not let your loved one shut themselves out.
Patience and Understanding are important as your loved one adjusts to their new reality. It may take your loved one considerable time to come to terms with their diagnosis. They may not want to listen to advice straight away. Take the time to listen to their concerns and offer them support and encouragement.
Self-care is equally as important. Although you might not be the one with Parkinson’s disease – your life is going to be impacted as well. Make sure that you are taking the time to take care of your own needs and feelings.
Regular exercise has been shown to help alleviate symptoms for those who suffer from Parkinson’s. There may be times when your loved one is unmotivated, which is when they will most need you to help push them to maintain a regular exercise regiment.
Educate yourself about the disease. The best way to help your loved one is to arm yourself with knowledge and be prepared for any and all possibilities.
Mindfulness can reduce depressive symptoms, increased focus, and better moods. Some people with Parkinson’s use mindfulness and meditation to help manage their symptoms.
Mindfulness offers benefits for the mind. It is a state of active consciousness that helps us observe, acknowledge, and accept feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations without judgment. Mindfulness interventions have shown to boost cognitive agility and adaptive responses to stressful situations.
Meditation can be recognised as a type of mindfulness that reduces stress and promotes tranquility. Meditation can consist of sitting quietly while holding a peaceful thought, doing focused breathing techniques and mindful movement (yoga), listening to peaceful music, following a guided meditation, repeating a mantra, joining a meditation group, as well as other methods.
This opens the question, can mindfulness and meditation help people with Parkinson’s manage their condition?
Parkinson’s is known to cause motor symptoms such as changes in gait and dexterity, but it can also lead to non-motor symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and sleep problems. As mindfulness and meditation are used as relaxation techniques to help relieve stress, improve focus, combat depression and enhance sleep they can be used as tools to relieve these symptoms that can be commonly linked to Parkinson’s.
Scientific reports indicate a positive link between meditation and Parkinson’s, showing that it can be a complementary therapy to help people with Parkinson’s manage their symptoms.
Here are some simple tips for practicing meditation and becoming more mindful:
Take 5 minutes in the morning to focus on your breathing
Focus on the moment
Join a yoga class
Keep a daily journal
Practice gratitude – what are you thankful for?
Use a meditation video from YouTube, lie down, close your eyes, and listen
A look into the history of Beats Medical, the achievements we have hit along our journey to provide clinically proven allied health therapies, at home via smartphones, putting people with neurological conditions at the center of their own care, giving them the tools to manage their symptoms independently and with confidence.
2012 – Beats Medical was founded in 2012 by Dr. Ciara Clancy and Dr. Wui-Mei Chew. While working as a physiotherapist, Dr. Clancy recognized the enormous potential allied health therapy could have on the everyday lives of people with Parkinson’s. However, Dr. Clancy realized that one-to-one, there was only so much a physiotherapist could do. So, joining up with Dr. Wui-Mei, who specializes in inter molecular medicine, Beats Medical was created to bring these previously inaccessible therapies out of the hospital setting and into the homes of the more than 10 million people with Parkinson’s around the world.
2015 – After years of extensive research, investigating over 50 years of clinical research, the Beats Medical Parkinson’s service was launched. Initially offering just metronome therapy (a daily, tailored beat to help to practice and improving the quality of walking) the Beats Medical service was rapidly adopted.
2016 – In early 2016, having received detailed feedback from users of the service, Beats Medical launched additional therapies for some of the common speech and dexterity symptoms of Parkinson’s. These additional therapies, based on commonly used treatments, help people with Parkinson’s to practice speaking louder and clearer or to practice the fine hand movements needed for everyday tasks like handwriting, working zippers, fastening buttons, and taking medication out of its packaging.
2017 – The Beats Medical Parkinson’s Service technology achieved classification as a Class 1 medical device. Our patent and CE marks were also both issued. This means that we have been regulated as a safe medical technology for people with Parkinson’s, and is a badge of merit which distinguishes clinically proven therapies from other basic apps.
2018 – The Beats Medical Parkinson’s Service has grown from strength to strength. We now support people with Parkinson’s in over 40 countries around the world daily. In July of 2018, Beats Medical expanded its product offering with a new space-themed, gamified app for children who have Dyspraxia/ Developmental Coordination Disorder.
2019 – In a really exciting development, the Beats Medical Parkinson’s Service has become the first Parkinson’s-specific technology to feature in the Parkinson’s UK app and device library. The library is a collection of approved and tested technologies that have been deemed safe and useful by a panel of independent tests and users with Parkinson’s.
People with Parkinson’s Disease commonly experience muscle cramps that are painful and debilitating. Muscle cramps can be brought on by inactivity, too much activity, dehydration, or in many cases just at random! People with Parkinson’s may also experience a cramping sensation because of a condition called Dystonia, which can frequently present with Parkinson’s. Dystonia causes involuntary and prolonged contraction of muscles, causing them to spasm. This can happen as a result of certain medications, in particular when medication is wearing off.
Here are some helpful tips on how to ease the symptoms of cramping:
Regular stretching can help to prevent a cramp or ease a cramp that is occurring. It is particularly important to stretch before and after exercising. The most common muscles that cramp in people with Parkinson’s are generally in the legs and feet. Here is a useful stretch you can try if you experience cramping in these areas. Stretches should be held for 30 seconds.
Massage can help to ease muscle tension during a muscle cramp.
Heat pads can be applied to the area where you are experiencing a cramp.
4. Keep a diary
It is useful to keep a diary of when you experience muscle cramps. Note what you were doing at the time and what time of day it is. If you notice a pattern in your cramps, you may be able to determine the cause of them better.
5. Medication adjustment
If you notice that your cramping comes on at a particular time each day, for example when your medication is wearing off, you may need to speak to your doctor or neurologist about adjusting the time at which you take your medication. However, do not change this without asking your GP or neurologist first! Always follow a doctor’s advice about medication!