New Microsoft Watch Can Quiet Parkinson’s Tremors

Tech giant Microsoft has just unveiled one of their newest, most innovative designs: a wristwatch that can temporarily halt tremors in people with Parkinson’s disease.

MORE: Inventor solves graphic designer’s problem with Parkinson’s tremors.

The prototype was showcased last week at the Microsoft Build 2017 event in Seattle, Washington. The watch works by vibrating in a certain pattern which disrupts the patient’s own tremors and quiets them. According to USA Today, the “Emma” watch was originally designed for a British graphic designer, whose Parkinson’s disease had left her unable to do her job. Microsoft engineers accepted a challenge on behalf of the BBC television program The Big Fix and astounded everyone when Emma was able to write her name while wearing the device.

Although the watch doesn’t cure tremors, it could offer a practical solution to millions of people living with the disease and the technology can be built upon to come up with other creative ideas that may help tremors in other parts of the body.

MORE: Designing hacks for life with Parkinson’s disease. 

Parkinsons’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

64 comments

  1. cheryl heuvelman says:

    when will the Emma watch be available for purchase and will medicare support the cost??
    Thank you

      • E. Jane says:

        You would think that if Apple, and all those cell phone companies can turn out “new and updated phones” every other day that Microsoft could turn out this important product at least as fast. There are so many people whose lives can be improved by this watch. I think this would far more important to people than another cell phone!

  2. Beth Burney says:

    Are there plans to put this watch into production soon? My son who is a freshman in college has a tremor. Even with a smartpen, note taking is difficult. This could be a game changer for him and so many others. Happy to trial.

  3. Mary Elms says:

    Had Essential tremors my whole life. Would Emma help for this condition too? I am in desperate need of it so I can eat and send out Christmas cards. How can I get on the list to have one when they are available? Thank You.

  4. Silvia says:

    I read another article that said it would be ‘many years’ before it’s commercially available, it’s cruel if this is true, even without FDA approval, I’d buy one, better than having electrodes in your brain

  5. David Gremer says:

    If this is a medical device, there is a fairly lengthy process for getting it to market:
    * Establishment registration
    * Medical Device Listing
    * Premarket Notification 510(k), unless exempt, or Premarket Approval (PMA)
    * Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) for clinical studies
    * Quality System (QS) regulation
    * Labeling requirements
    * Medical Device Reporting (MDR)
    Does anyone know where in the process development is? If it’s in clinical trials, does anyone know who to contact?

  6. Ruud Overes says:

    Dear Microsoft / Tim Bossie,

    Can you please try to be more clear on your release planning of the Emma watch. It is important for an PD patient like me. If it takes years or you do not intend to release please say so

  7. Rachel says:

    It is very difficult to have possible solutions presented to
    Parkinson’s patients with a tremor in one or both hands
    And then not let them know when manufacturing will begin.
    On a solution such as the watch. It’s “a big tease” we need concrete information.

    • Alec Forman says:

      Like everyone else asking, When will it be available? Hopefully in my lifetime. On a solution such as the watch. It’s “a big tease” we need concrete information. Who ever has this project in their in tray please get it moving, it cant be that difficult and would improve the quality of life for thousands of people. Is money the problem? I am sure this could be raised in a kick starter project?
      Please someone grab the ball and run with it!!
      Parkinsons sufferer
      Alec Forman

  8. Oscar says:

    Microsoft can produce the product in another country with less governmen (FDA) intervention. We the PD sufferers need solutions.

  9. Bev Woodroof says:

    Dear Mr. Bossie,
    Thank you for taking time to respond to some.I have known two dear friends that have had to deal with this horrible disease. My friend I have known 65 yrs, since 1st day of kindergarten, had to try to help her mom struggle with this disease. It took so much from her. Now, I have a close friend that is trying hard to stay pro-active and upbeat. The tremors cause a lot of difficulty. Not just writing, eating, answering a phone, dressing, getting out of bed,etc. Please try to speed up the process and keep price afordable. They are so many out there your profits will not suffer by making it affordable. A high price will just mean you will not sell as many since their med are a priority.
    Thank you again,
    Bev Woodroof

  10. Carlos Elwood says:

    I would very much like more information when this Emma watch is available and the cost of it. I have suffered from Parkinson’s for 13 years, and I would really benefit from something like this. Do you need more participants for clinical trials? I would love to participate. Please hurry the production!

  11. Michelle Keester says:

    I have a 22 year old daughter that this would be amazing for. She just graduated from college in May with a tesching degree and is subbing in our local achool district. She really has a hard time writing because of her tremors. She is also visually imapired and has seizures. This could make one aspect of her life a little easier. How do you become a part of the trial? This is just amazing!!

  12. Leann says:

    I would love to give this to my Mom. This would be the perfect gift for her!!! Oh how I wish this was available for purchase.

    • Alec Forman says:

      Only like to say to Microsoft keep this project on a roll, I am ready as are I am sure thousands if not millions of other for this “Emma” watch to be available at a reasonable price,

  13. Barbara Brooks says:

    I am desperate to try and buy the Emma Watch. Parkinson’s disease has robbed me of my independence and zest for life. I have terrible side effects from the medications and this could be the answer to my prayers. Please count on me for clinical trials. I only want to be able to do normal everyday things again that used to be second nature.

  14. Joanne says:

    My Dad has essential tremors. We would love to get one for him if they are within reason. Please let us know when they will be available.

  15. Lynn Schwickrath says:

    Would like to purchase the watch, I’ have Essential Tremors, this would work great. Cost and where to but one or 2 of them.

  16. lorraine jewell says:

    My husband has Essential Tremor and would do anything to be rid of it. He’s incredibly frustrated as he is unable to do so many things because of it. He would love to trial it and buy it if it worked for him.

  17. Shira says:

    I have watched my father suffer with Parkinson’s. I think this watch will help with his tremors and his self confidence. A sense of control, to be able to write again and maybe just to eat by himself.
    Is there a way to be in a trial?
    Or any idea when it will be avail to purchase?

  18. Pat russell says:

    Please don’t forget all of us who are waiting to resume some normalcy in our lives that this watch would bring. We’re hoping it comes available to us soon and would be affordable to the average person. I speak for all of us with some desperation.

  19. Abbey Brown says:

    I am wanting to be a pediatric oncologist. With tremors it’s near impossible but that’s my dream… this would give me a chance! Just please, i would love to try this! Sign me up for the clinical trials please! Hi, I️ heard about the emma watch and I have essential tremor and myoclonus dystonia. I’ve tried all the medicines, propanol, Carbidopa levodopa, Clonazepam. Daily life things are a struggle and if this could make a difference i would love to try it for you all and document it if you are in the testing stages with videos or even purchase one. I would love just a chance at a change of quality of life. I go to a neurologist at UAB. I can get them to send proof of essential tremor and dystonia if needed. This is a game changer! Cannot think you enough for making this Microsoft! You are changing lives!

  20. Karen says:

    It’s quite a tease seeing the product and not being able to purchase it. I hope it becomes available soon. This would be a remarkable asset for my husband. He is quite interested in being part of a test trial for the product. It would definitely build his self-confidence.

  21. sharon a. says:

    How soon will this be available for purchase? If not available, how do I become a test subject or member of a clinical trial to evaluate the product? Unable to write and great difficulty writing. Please help/respond!

  22. Sandra Gurley says:

    Could this possibly help those that have nerve damage that causes their hands to shake. So hard for my husband to eat or work on anything due to the shaking. And his balance is so bad. He was in a motorcycle wreck in 2001. And many accidents in between then and now due to balance.

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