7 things to know about Liftware | by Kalila Minor

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on August 21, 2019 # Technology, Mobility

Liftware is a suite of assistive devices designed for people with limited mobility or movement disorders. Liftware is offered by Verily, the life sciences arm of Alphabet. The Liftware team is thrilled to be partnering with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation as part of its mission to help people live without limits!

We offer two devices: Liftware Steady, which counteracts hand tremors that may be associated with conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease or essential tremor, and Liftware Level, for individuals with limited hand or arm mobility which may be associated with spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, Huntington’s disease, or post-stroke deficits.

Here are 7 things to know about Liftware:

1.Liftware was developed to improve daily life for those living with motion disorders

In 2010, Anupam Pathak, a mechanical engineering Ph.D., received funding from the NIH to create assistive technologies to improve the quality of life for those living with limited mobility or movement disorders. Their first product, now called “Liftware Steady,” was an electronic stabilizing handle and a selection of attachments. Liftware Steady is designed to help people with hand tremors feed themselves with greater ease.

Liftware joined Verily (formerly known as Google Life Sciences) in 2014. In 2016, the team launched a second assistive device, Liftware Level, for individuals with limited hand or arm mobility.

2. Liftware helps users eat with confidence

My team at Verily is fortunate to speak with Liftware users every day. Many users find that Liftware enables them to eat on their own, improving their independence and dignity. This was the case for one user who shared that with Liftware, she is able to feed herself lunch at home, allowing her husband to return to work.

Often, users tell us that dining had become so frustrating, embarrassing, and stressful that they were avoiding eating in public altogether. A Liftware user recently shared that she’s now comfortable hosting dinner parties and having date nights at her local pizza parlor because she’s confident she can minimize spills.

Check out a video of Liftware Level in action here.

3. Liftware Level devices contain advanced sensor and motor-based self-leveling technology

Liftware Level controls the angle of a utensil for people with limited mobility or unintended muscular movements that make it difficult to enjoy a meal. Liftware Level works best for those who can move a utensil from the plate to their mouth but have difficulty controlling the angle of a spoon or fork.

The Level handle contains sensors and a small computer that can detect and counteract unintended movements. To level the utensil, the onboard computer directs two motors in the handle to keep the utensil at the right angle for eating.

Watch Stefanie use Liftware Level to accommodate her range of motion here.

4. Try Liftware out at home first to set yourself up for success

It may take a few days to get used to eating with Liftware. We encourage users to practice with their new device at home and in other low-pressure environments to first develop a level of comfort with the device.

In addition, people often order Liftware as a birthday or holiday gift for loved ones. Liftware can make a great gift! We always encourage family members and friends to discuss the gift in advance with the potential user to be sure they’re enthusiastic about giving Liftware a try.

5. Liftware plays an important role in Verily’s mission

At Verily, our mission is to make the world's health information useful so that people enjoy healthier lives. As Verily’s first commercial product, Liftware exemplifies one of our key guiding principles of product design - start with the user.

Verily develops tools and platforms to enable more continuous health data collection for timely decision-making and effective interventions run longitudinal studies to understand better ways to predict and prevent disease onset and progression and undertake joint efforts with partners to radically transform healthcare delivery. Among our projects is a miniaturized continuous glucose monitor being developed in partnership with Dexcom, Debug, an effort to stop the spread of mosquitos that carry disease, and Project Baseline, a broad effort designed to develop a well-defined reference, or "baseline," of good health.

6. Our team is dedicated to helping those with limited hand and arm mobility eat independently

The Liftware team is a group of engineers, designers, and user experience specialists at Verily. The team is committed to developing assistive technologies that can make a profound impact on the quality of life for those living with limited mobility or movement disorders.

7. Have questions? We’re here to connect!

Liftware can be purchased on our website. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs may purchase both Liftware Steady and Liftware Level for certain veterans.

Our website also has details on all product offerings, videos, user guides, FAQs, and contact details for our team.

We’d love to be in touch!

Posted by Kalila Minor, a Verily Program Manager and the Business Strategy Lead for Liftware