Design driven treatment of Parkinson’s Disease | Mileha Soneji | TEDxDelft

Design driven treatment of Parkinson’s Disease | Mileha Soneji | TEDxDelft

Translator: Joseph Geni
Reviewer: Ivana Korom In India, we have these huge families. I bet a lot of you all
must have heard about it. Which means that there are
a lot of family events. So as a child, my parents
used to drag me to these family events. But the one thing
that I always looked forward to was playing around with my cousins. And there was always this one uncle who used to be there, always ready, jumping around with us, having games for us, making us kids have the time of our lives. This man was extremely successful: he was confident and powerful. But then I saw this hale and hearty person
deteriorate in health. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s is a disease that causes
degeneration of the nervous system, which means that this person
who used to be independent suddenly finds tasks like drinking coffee,
because of tremors, much more difficult. My uncle started using a walker to walk, and to take a turn, he literally had to take
one step at a time, like this, and it took forever. So this person, who used to be
the center of attention in every family gathering, was suddenly hiding behind people. He was hiding from the pitiful look
in people’s eyes. And he’s not the only one in the world. Every year, 60,000 people
are newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and this number is only rising. As designers, we dream that our designs
solve these multifaceted problems, one solution that solves it all, but it need not always be like that. You can also target simple problems and create small solutions for them
and eventually make a big impact. So my aim here was
to not cure Parkinson’s, but to make their everyday tasks
much more simple, and then make an impact. Well, the first thing I targeted
was tremors, right? My uncle told me that he had stopped
drinking coffee or tea in public just out of embarrassment, so, well, I designed the no-spill cup. It works just purely on its form. The curve on top deflects the liquid
back inside every time they have tremors, and this keeps the liquid inside
compared to a normal cup. But the key here is that it is not tagged
as a Parkinson’s patient product. It looks like a cup that could be used
by you, me, any clumsy person, and that makes it much more comforting
for them to use, to blend in. So, well, one problem solved, many more to go. All this while, I was interviewing him, questioning him, and then I realized that I was getting
very superficial information, or just answers to my questions. But I really needed to dig deeper
to get a new perspective. So I thought, well,
let’s observe him in his daily tasks, while he’s eating, while he’s watching TV. And then, when I was actually
observing him walking to his dining table, it struck me, this man who finds it
so difficult to walk on flat land, how does he climb a staircase? Because in India we do not have
a fancy rail that takes you up a staircase like in the developed countries. One actually has to climb the stairs. So he told me, “Well, let me show you how I do it.” Let’s take a look at what I saw. So he took really long
to reach this position, and then all this while, I’m thinking, “Oh my God, is he really going to do it? Is he really, really going to do it
without his walker?” And then … (Laughter) And the turns, he took them so easily. So – shocked? Well, I was too. So this person who could not
walk on flat land was suddenly a pro at climbing stairs. On researching this, I realized that
it’s because it’s a continuous motion. There’s this other man
who also suffers from the same symptoms and uses a walker, but the moment he’s put on a cycle, all his symptoms vanish, because it is a continuous motion. So the key for me was to translate
this feeling of walking on a staircase back to flat land. And a lot of ideas
were tested and tried on him, but the one that finally worked
was this one. Let’s take a look. (Laughter) (Applause) He walked faster, right? (Applause) I call this the staircase illusion, and actually when the staircase illusion
abruptly ended, he froze, and this is called freezing of gait. So it happens a lot, so why not have
a continuous staircase illusion flowing through all their rooms, making them feel much more confident? You know, technology is not always it. What we need are human-centered solutions. I could have easily
made it into a projection, or a Google Glass, or something like that. But I stuck to simple print on the floor. This print could be taken
into hostels, hospitals – well, hotels, for that matter – to make them feel much more welcome. What I wish to do
is make every Parkinson’s patient feel like my uncle felt that day. He told me that I made him feel
like his old self again. “Smart” in today’s world
has become synonymous to high tech, and the world is only getting
smarter and smarter day by day. But why can’t smart be something
that’s simple and yet effective? All we need is a little bit of empathy
and some curiosity, to go out there, observe. But let’s not stop at that. Let’s find these complex problems.
Don’t be scared of them. Break them, boil them down
into much smaller problems, and then find simple solutions for them. Test these solutions, fail if needed, but with newer insights to make it better. Imagine what we all could do
if we all came up with simple solutions. What would the world be like
if we combined all our simple solutions? Let’s make a smarter world,
but with simplicity. Thank you. (Applause)

26 thoughts on “Design driven treatment of Parkinson’s Disease | Mileha Soneji | TEDxDelft”

  1. Absolutely Wonderful!

    I saw this Video after my Sis in law Shri Vidhya Venugopal sent me the links. I am absolutely amazed and feel really good after seeing this Video. God Bless! 

  2. Hi Mileha. Quiet simple and effective solutions. Go ahead and explore further. Best wishes. I am a friend of your family all the way from Najran KSA.

  3. absolutely wow! My dad had Parkinsons and I saw a confident man degenerate in front of my eyes. Mileha Soneji-thank God for young people like you who have empathy. I loved the staircase print-so simple,so effective!

  4. "Make human centered solutions." I love this. We say this all the time, but default to tech that is often unnecessary and further complicates the issue.

  5. Magnificent work Mileha. I am the neurologist who described the patient unable to walk, but perfectly able to ride a bicycle. How can I reach you to discuss this further? best wishes, Bas Bloem

  6. Hi Mileha. great talk. My grandpa has Parkinson and is now too weak to take the stairs. Would this work without making him see that he could climb stairs?

  7. Parkinson's indicates unresolved rejection, massive amounts of abandonment, rejection and hope deferred. I read a book called"A more excellent way" by Henry Wright.

  8. Am Corey Pollard from Ontario ,My dad was diagnosed with ALS February 2018 and i was so confused because i love my dad and i wouldn't want to loose him so soon and so, i decided to look for a possible solution to get rid of this ALS despite knowing it has no cure as advised by the medical doctor , everyday my dad's heath depreciate and keeps loosing weight and strength,a friend advised me to try peter wise ALS herbal formula that she used to cure her dad's heart disease and i was reluctant about it until after a second thought i decided to give it a try because no harm in trying and immediately i contacted him he assure me that my dad will be cured within few weeks of medication and he sent me the medicine and i applied it on my dad as advised by Dr peter wise and within 3 weeks of medication my dad was cured and now my dad is free from ALS it was indeed a miracle, he also have herbal formula for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) any brain disorder , DIABETICS etc here is his email (peterwiseherbalcenter at gmail. com) and his whatsapp number via +2349059610643

  9. Thanks for your solution s Parkinson patient ihave get more energy now last five years ihave taking treatment ihave right hermtige Parkinson still I am going to church early morning clumping fifty steps with out any stick my wife following me Don't be Happy fight against Parkinson Mary das thekkekuttu

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