gaitQ receives award by the UK’s National Institute for Health Research for the continued development of its system
Oxford, UK, 29 March 2021 – gaitQ, a spin-out from the University of Oxford which is developing a wearable, smart medical device that helps those with Parkinson’s overcome gait freezing episodes, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a £135,000 grant by the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) for the continued development of its system aimed at tackling gait freeze in people with Parkinson’s (PwP). The grant will enable gaitQ to focus on improving the usability of its system for PwP, optimising its offer, and ensuring the necessary regulatory support is in place to guide the company towards commercialisation.
Throughout the grant-funded project, gaitQ will be working with Parkinson’s UK at both national and regional levels including the Parkinson’s UK Oxford Branch, to help gain access to PwP and provide advice on the conduct and analysis of the proposed study. The results of the study will be shared with the NIHR prior to transitioning into a more advanced study.
The grant forms part of the NIHR’s Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme which supports the preclinical and clinical development of medical technologies in areas of existing or emerging patient need.
Tristan Collins, CEO of gaitQ, said: “We are pleased to receive this funding from the NIHR to accelerate our product development and support our business and commercial strategy. We consider this support a great validation of our technology and its potential to help tackle gait freeze and improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s.”
gaitQ is a spinout from the University of Oxford developing a wearable, smart medical device aimed at restoring mobility in people with Parkinson’s. Around 45% of people with Parkinson’s eventually develop gait-freezing, an intermittent failure to initiate or maintain walking – often described as the most debilitating symptom of the condition . gaitQ’s first product will be a cueing device that helps individuals overcome gait-freezing episodes and maintain their levels of activity for longer. gaitQ features personalised, adaptive cueing during periods of gait-freezing in a discrete, unobtrusive device. Powered by proprietary machine learning algorithms, gaitQ’s technology has been in development for more than three years within Oxford University’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME) and the Department of Physiology Anatomy & Genetics (DPAG). A recent clinical study has demonstrated preliminary efficacy results showing a reduction in gait freezing events of 55%, a reduction of freeze duration of 73%, and an overall improvement in walking metrics.