Neha - Marketing and Product Design
Neha Chaudhry is the founder of Walk to Beat, a ‘smart’ walking stick for people with Parkinson’s disease.
An invention to help people with Parkinson’s disease
Neha was inspired to help people with Parkinson’s disease after witnessing her late grandad struggle with the condition. Her ‘smart’ walking stick uses circuitry concealed in its handle to monitor walking patterns and provide vibrations that help overcome freezing. It has attracted the attention of the NHS and Parkinson’s UK charity.
“It seems unbelievable that I made something which could really help people, even if it is to a small extent. It's a great feeling for me - and the patients are so happy somebody is thinking of them.”
She first researched the stick during her final year degree project. She was awarded a grant to develop the idea from the UWE Bristol Fund (which raises money through donations from alumni, staff and students). This cash boost, along with other investments and partnerships, has enabled her to take the idea from concept to reality.
“People with Parkinson's get frozen in one place and can't step forward, which can cause falls. Patients need a rhythm or sequence to get them started again, because it acts as a cue."
"The smart walking stick uses circuitry concealed within its handle to monitor walking patterns and provide vibrations that help overcome freezing. Patients say it encourages them to walk."