[VIDEO] Google Joins Fight against Parkinson's Disease through Purchase of Spoon
Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) recently acquired Lift Labs, a small firm that manufactures a special spoon to make it easier for individuals with Parkinson’s disease to eat, and in doing so is strengthening its presence in the hardware and biotech space.
The company is joining the Google[x] division, according to Reuters, which has a Life Sciences group aside from focusing on projects such as self-driving cars and drones. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The spoon by Lift Labs, known as Liftware, uses vibrations to offset the tremors that occur as a result of Parkinson’s disease. By allowing the user to focus on the social aspects of eating, Liftware returns a sense of independence to those diagnosed with Parkinson’s and increases their quality of life.
Developed with the help of a National Institutes of Health grant, the tremor cancellation spoon will continue to be available for sale at a retail price of $295.
Google said in a post on Google+ on Wednesday, Sept. 10 that it would also explore how Lift Labs’ technology “could be used in other ways to improve the understanding and management of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor.”
“We’re excited to be joining Google[x], Google’s moonshot factory,” announced Lift Labs. “We will continue to sell our Liftware system, and Google will enable us to reach even more people living with Parkinson’s or essential tremor who could benefit from using tremor-cancelling devices every day.”
Google has increasingly expanded into health-related services. Earlier this year Google said it was partnering with Novartis to develop special contact lenses for diabetics capable of monitoring blood sugar levels in tears, and in 2013 Google created Calico, a health startup, to develop technologies that tackle health issues related to aging.
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